Hamza Burns Zarthustís Chest and Shatters the Urn with his Ashes

Click for full size detail of Hamza's soldiers.

Click for full size detail of Hamza

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India, Mughal; c. 1570
Miniature: 68 ◊ 51.4 cm, on cotton tabby from a copy of the Hamza-nama.
From the David Collection museum, Denmark.
Formerly in the Art Institute of Chicago
It took some 15 years to complete the Great Mughal Akbarís copy of the Hamza-nama, which originally contained about 1400 miniatures. This was a gigantic project in every respect, a collaborative effort by Persian and Indian artists that is considered a pioneering work of early Mughal painting.
The book is a fictitious account of the life of Hamza, the Prophet Muhammadís uncle. Here we see Hamza in the process of burning and destroying the earthly remains of the Persian founder of Zoroastrianism, called Zarthust in the manuscript. Zarthustís granddaughter, Manut, who raises her hands in horror, and the ugly women on the left are depicted as sorceresses.

Back to The Hamzanama of Akbar, c. 1570