"Prophet Muhammad Preaching", Folio from a Maqtal-i Al-i Rasul of Lami'i Chelebi
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
late 16th century
Attributed to Turkey or Iraq
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
H. 7 13/16 in. (19.8 cm) W. 6 1/16 in. (15.4 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1955
Not on view
The text to which this detached page once belonged, entitled "The Murder of the House of the Prophet", tells the story of the martyrdom of Husayn ibn 'Ali, one of Muhammad's grandsons and 'Ali's son. His assasination at the battle of Karbala, in present-day Iraq, represented a turning point for the Muslim community and is the origin of the main division between the Sunni and Shi'i sects. In this illustration, the Prophet is seen preaching seated on a minbar, or pulpit, with 'Ali and his sons Hasan and Husayn on his left side. The holy characters are identified by their flaming haloes and are surrounded by an attentive audience. The text mentions that the scene takes place in the interior of the mosque in Medina.
Inscription: The calligraphy has not been translated.
Jack S. Rofe, Scotland, until 1929; his sale, Sotheby's, London, December 12, 1929, no. 1534); [ Hagop Kevorkian, New York, by 1953]; [ Kevorkian Foundation, New York, until 1955; sold to MMA]
Robinson, Basil William. The Kevorkian Collection: Islamic and Indian Illustrated Manuscripts, Miniature Paintings and Drawings. New York, 1953. p. 125.