"Bahram Gur's Skill with the Bow", Folio 17v from a Haft Paikar (Seven Portraits) of the Khamsa (Quintet) of Nizami
Nizami (Ilyas Abu Muhammad Nizam al-Din of Ganja) (probably 1141–1217)
Maulana Azhar (d. 1475/76)
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Made in present-day Afghanistan, Herat
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Painting: H. 7 13/16 in. (19.8 cm)
W. 6 3/4 in. (17.1 cm)
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)
Gift of Alexander Smith Cochran, 1913
Not on view
Depicting the Persian hero Bahram Gur hunting with his harp‑playing companion Azada, this painting is one of five illustrations created for a fifteenth-century manuscript of Nizami’s Haft Paikar (Seven Portraits). The manuscript was produced in the celebrated kitabkhana (workshop) established by the Timurid prince Baisunghur (r. ca. 1420–33) during his governorship at Herat. This important workshop created some of the canonical illustrations to Nizami’s text—immediately recognizable, repeated, and emulated over the subsequent centuries.
Inscription: Text inscribed in Persian nasta'liq script by Maulana Azhar (d. A.H. 880/ A.D.1475-6).
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, no. 62.
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, no. 62.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Perfect Page: The Art of Embellishment in Islamic Book Design," May 17, 1991–August 18, 1991, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Princely Patrons: Three Royal Manuscripts of the Timurid Dynasty," March 4, 1995–June 4, 1995, no catalogue.
Sakisian, Armenag Bey. "Les Miniaturistes Persans Behzad et Rassim Ali." Gazette des Beaux Arts p. 227, ill. fig. 7 (b/w).
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. II (1957). pp. 383-391, ill. fig. 9 (b/w).
Grube, Ernst J. "from Collections in the United States and Canada." In Muslim Miniature Paintings from the XIII to XIX Century. Venice: N. Pozza, 1962. pp. 56-58 (discussed).
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).
Artist: Nizami (Ilyas Abu Muhammad Nizam al-Din of Ganja) (probably 1141–1217)Date: dated A.H. 931/A.D. 1524–25Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, silver, and gold on paperAccession: 22.214.171.124On view in:Not on view
Artist: Nizami (Ilyas Abu Muhammad Nizam al-Din of Ganja) (probably 1141–1217)Date: A.H. 931/A.D. 1524–25Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, silver, and gold on paperAccession: 126.96.36.199On view in:Gallery 455