Colors, silver, and gilt on brownish paper
16 7/8 x 13 1/4 in. (42.8 x 33.7 cm)
Cora Timken Burnett Collection of Persian Miniatures and Other Persian Art Objects, Bequest of Cora Timken Burnett, 1956 (188.8.131.52)
In the capital city of Herat, the scholar and writer Hafiz-i Abru was commissioned by the Timurid ruler Shah Rukh (r. 140547) to write a massive world history, beginning with Adam, as was traditional, down to his own time. The resulting manuscripts were heavily illustrated in a somewhat simplified but effectively direct style. In this picture, the angel Gabriel, whose role is to transmit God's revelations, appears as an actively commanding presence in complete contrast to the immobile, concentrated receptivity of the Prophet.