Illustration of Timurid Soldiers

Siege of Baghdad from a 1435-36 Zafarnama
(Book of Victories) of Sharaf al-din 'Ali Yazdi (1424-54)

Click for a detail of the soldiers.

Shiraz, 1435-36. Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art
This folio once illustrated a manuscript of the Zafarnama, a biography of the ruler Timur commissioned by his grandson Ibrahim Sultan. The text glorifies Timurís many victories on the battlefield, including his 1401 siege of Baghdad, depicted here. In the painting residents of the city attempt to flee by swimming across the Tigris. The distinctively spare yet highly animated angular compositions are characteristic of manuscript painting produced in Shiraz in this period.


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