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"Bahram Gur on the Chase", Folio 10r from a Haft Paikar (Seven Portraits) of the Khamsa (Quintet) of Nizami

Author:
Nizami (Ilyas Abu Muhammad Nizam al-Din of Ganja) (probably 1141–1217)
Calligrapher:
Maulana Azhar (d. 1475/76)
Object Name:
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Date:
ca. 1430
Geography:
present-day Afghanistan, Herat
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Dimensions:
Page: H. 11 in. (27.9 cm) W. 7 3/16 in. (18.3 cm) Mat: H. 19 1/4 in. (48.9 cm) W. 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Gift of Alexander Smith Cochran, 1913
Accession Number:
13.228.13.2
Not on view
"Bahram Gur about to Kill the Lion and Onager with one Arrow".
It is this feat that gave the young prince his initial fame as a great hunter. The miniature is in the court style of Herat under the patronage of the Timurid prince Baisunghur for whom the manuscript may have been made. The fine drawing, masterly composition with its subtle asymmetry, and the delicate coloring of this style are all evident here. The scene takes place in Yemen and the artist has depicted the Arab type of turban with the long end looped under the chin.
Inscription: Text inscribed calligraphically in Persian, in nasta'liq script by Maulana Azhar (d. A.H. 880/ A.D.1475-6).

(On present folio, in Persian, at top of building): "Allah and nothing but he, and we never worship anyone but he"; (above right window): "Continuous glory, the power"; (above left window): "The glory the Sultan the power"; (above door): "Ye who open the doors."
Emperor Akbar, India (from 1580); his grandson Shah Jahan, India (in 1658); Alexander Smith Cochran, Yonkers, NY (until 1913; gifted to MMA)
Washington. Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. "Timur and the Princely Vision. Persian Art and Culture in the Fifteenth Century," April 14, 1989–July 6, 1989.

Los Angeles. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Timur and the Princely Vision. Persian Art and Culture in the Fifteenth Century," August 13, 1989–November 5, 1989.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Perfect Page: The Art of Embellishment in Islamic Book Design," May 17, 1991–August 18, 1991.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Princely Patrons: Three Royal Manuscripts of the Timurid Dynasty," March 4, 1995–June 4, 1995.

Valentiner, William Reinhold. "The Cochran Collection of Persian Manuscripts." Museum of Metropolitan Art Bulletin, old series, vol. 8 (1913). pp. 80-86.

Jackson, A. V. Williams, and A. Yohannan. "Presented to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, by Alexander Smith Cochran." In A Catalogue of the Collection of Persian Manuscripts, Including also Some Turkish and Arabic. 1914. no. 10, p. 71.

Robinson, B. W. "Prince Baysonghor's Nizami." Ars Orientalis vol. 2 (1957). pp. 383-391, ill. fig. 8 (b/w).

Grube, Ernst J. "The Early School of Herat and its Impact on Islamic Painting of the Later 15th, the 16th and 17th Centuries." In The Classical Style in Islamic Painting. Venice: Edizioni Oriens, 1968. ill. pl. 17 (b/w), folio 10r.

Museum of Metropolitan Art Bulletin vol. 33, no. 1 (1975). p. 24, ill. (color).

Lentz, Thomas W., and Glenn D. Lowry. "Persian Art and Culture in the Fifteenth Century." In Timur and the Princely Vision. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1989. no. 62, pp. 173, 175, 342, ill. p. 175 (color).



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