The "Memoirs of Babur" or Baburnama are the work of the great-great-great-grandson of Timur (Tamerlane), Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur (1483-1530). The Baburnama tells the tale of the prince's struggle first to assert and defend his claim to the throne of Samarkand and the region of the Fergana Valley. After being driven out of Samarkand in 1501 by the Uzbek Shaibanids, he ultimately sought greener pastures, first in Kabul and then in northern India, where his descendants were the Moghul (Mughal) dynasty ruling in Delhi until 1858.

The miniatures are from an illustrated copy of the Baburnama prepared for the author's grandson, the Mughal Emperor Akbar. It is worth remembering that the miniatures reflect the culture of the court at Delhi; hence, for example, the architecture of Central Asian cities resembles the architecture of Mughal India. Nonetheless, these illustrations are important as evidence of the tradition of exquisite miniature painting which developed at the court of Timur and his successors. Timurid miniatures are among the greatest artistic achievements of the Islamic world in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Illustrations of Mughals from the Baburnama

Page 1

1494, Accession of Babur

Harvesting of the almond crop at Qand-i Badam

Ahmad Miran Shahi and Mahmud Chaghata'i routing the enemy when they invaded Ferghana

1494, Baburís troops defying the enemy at the fort of Qaba

1495, Babur receiving Baqi Chaghanyani in his encampment on the banks of the Oxus

1495-6, Sayyidim, Qulī Bābā, and several warriors were unhorsed in battle

Baburnama, Page 2 . Baburnama, Page 3 . Baburnama, Page 4 . Baburnama, Page 5 . Baburnama, Page 6 . Baburnama, Page 7 . Baburnama, Page 8 . Baburnama, Page 9 . Baburnama, Page 10 . Baburnama, Page 11 . Baburnama, Page 12 . Baburnama, Page 13 . Baburnama, Page 14
Thumbnails for manuscript: British Library Or. 3714
Thumbnails for manuscript: Walters Art Museum W.596

Mughal Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers - 16th to 19th Centuries
Index of Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers