"Battle Scene", Folio from a Zafarnama (Book of Victories) of Sharaf al-Din 'Ali Yazdi, Sharaf al-din 'Ali Yazdi (1424–54), Ink, watercolor, and gold on paper

"Battle Scene", Folio from a Zafarnama (Book of Victories) of Sharaf al-Din 'Ali Yazdi

Sharaf al-din 'Ali Yazdi (1424–54)
Object Name:
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Attributed to present-day Afghanistan, Herat
Ink, watercolor, and gold on paper
Painting: H. 9 3/8 in. (23.8 cm)
W. 6 1/2 in. (16.5 cm)
Page: H. 12 in. (30.5 cm)
W. 8 7/16 in. (21.5 cm)
Mat: H. 19 1/4 in. (48.9 cm)
W. 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1943
Accession Number:
Not on view
This folio is from a manuscript now in the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art, whose colophon gives the date 891 (A.D. 1485–86). Several different styles of paintings appear in the manuscript, some of which may have been painted later, in the early Safavid period, although this folio was likely completed at the time of the manuscript’s production. Timur, appearing near the top left of the page in a green jama, is but one part of the lively scene. While the exact subject of the painting is not known, it may depict Timur fighting either the Badakhshan army or the Khazars.
[ Mrs. Kamer Aga-Oglu, Ann Arbor, MI, until 1943; sold to MMA]
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution. "The Logic and Magic of Color," April 20, 1960–August 31, 1960, no. 165.

Palm Beach, FL. The Society of the Four Arts. "Loan to the Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach, Fl," February 2, 1962–February 27, 1962, no catalogue.

"An Exhibition Celebrating the Centennial Anniversary of the Cooper Union, 20th April–31st August, 1960." In The Logic and Magic of Color. New York: Cooper Union Museum, 1960. no. 165, p. 26.

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. 39 (b/w).

Suzuki Kei 鈴木敬, ed. Chūgoku kaiga sōgō zuroku: Daiikan, Amerika-Kanada Hen 中國繪畫總合圖錄:第一卷 アメリカ·カナダ篇 (Comprehensive illustrated catalog of Chinese paintings: Vol. 1 American and Canadian Collections). vol. 1. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press 東京大学出版会, 1982. no. cat. no. A1-061, p. 13, ill.

O'Kane, Bernard. "Reconciliation or Estrangement? Colophon and Paintings in the Tiem Zafarnama and Some Other Controversial Manuscripts." Muqarnas vol. 26 (2009). pp. 213-214, ill. fig. 9 (color).