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Prince Bahram Slays a Dragon, 1371 Shahnama
The musician Barbad plays for Khusrau Parviz, Shiraz, 1371 Shahnama
Rustam rescues Bizhan from the pit, 1371 Shahnama
Zal meets Rudaba, 14thC
Giv defeats and binds Guruy Zirih, 1393 Shahnama
Three Metric Romances by Khwāju Kermānī, c.1396
Warrior On Mount Damavand, Collection of Epics, Shiraz? 1397-8
Defeat of the Iranians at the Battle of Ladan, early 15thC Shahnama
Timurid Mounted Falconer Hunting Ducks, a Muraqqa, 1420
Hunting Scene, c.1430
Guruy executes Siyavush, folio 163 from the Shahnama of Bayasanghor (grandson of Timur), 1430
Battle between Iran and Turan, 1430 Shahnama
Flight of Noqaï, Jami' al-Tawarikh, 1430-1434
Mongol siege of Bagdad, Jami' al-Tawarikh, 1430-1434
Siege of Baghdad from a 1436 Zafarnama
Conquest of Baghdad by Timur from a 1436 Zafarnama
Battle Between Timur and Toqtamish Khan, 1436 Zafarnama
Siege of a city, 1436 Zafarnama of Sharafuddin
Timur Celebrates his Conquest of Delhi, 1436 Zafarnama of Sharafuddin
'Timurís entry into Samarqand' from a 1436 Zafarnama (Book of Victories) of Sharaf al-din 'Ali Yazdi (1424-54), Timurid.
Ulugh Beg, eldest son of Shah Rukh, seated on a carpet, Samarqand, 1435-1440
Minuchihr slays Salm, Shahnamah of 1435-1440
A sword fight between Bizhan and Farud, Shahnamah of 1435-1440
Bahram Gur Hunting, f154b, 1445-6 Khamsa
The Timuridsí ancestor, Timur (Tamerlane), belonged to a branch of the Turkic-Mongol Chagatay clan, which had settled in Central Asia. He had married a Mongol princess whose family was supposed to have been descended from Genghis Khan. Like the Mongols, Timur amassed an enormous realm within a short span of time. From his capital of Samarkand, he conquered Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan in 1370 and carried out victorious campaigns against the Mamluks in Syria and the Ottomans in Anatolia. In the southeast, he and his troops penetrated far into India, where they plundered Delhi, and only his death in 1405 put an end to a campaign in China. Timurís empire was divided up among his many relatives, as the Turkic and Mongol tradition for inheritance prescribed. As a result of this fragmentation and pressure from Turkmen tribes, the Timurid Empire was soon reduced to Central Asia and the eastern part of Iran.
Various nomad Turkmen groups were among the many Central Asiatic peoples that were forced westward before the Mongol advance in the first half of the 13th century. At the beginning of the 15th century, some of them were able to occupy the Timuridsí lands in the west. The Aq Qoyunlu (white sheep) Turkmen became the regionís leading power for a short time under the great commander Uzun Hasan, whose dream of an empire was stopped by the Ottomans in Anatolia in 1473. After his death, the realm quickly disintegrated because of dissent among his successors and pressure from the Ottomans and Iranís new power, the Safavids.
Under the Timurids, Samarkand and Herat played an important role for long periods as both capitals and art centers. The Timurids were great patrons. They commissioned enormous building projects and founded workshops that employed captive artists and craftsmen. The diversity of their background is reflected in their artistic output, but the influence of Far Eastern culture is especially characteristic. Often very colorful Timurid art features Chinese mythical beasts and flowers, and the forms of ceramics were also inspired by Chinese porcelain. Numerous Timurid princes were themselves calligraphers and great bibliophiles. They founded workshops to make costly manuscripts, and Timurid miniature painting from Herat in the 15th century is considered one of the culminations of Persian painting.
Timurid art had a decisive influence on Ottoman and Safavid art, both through booty taken in war and through the artists who were captured and worked for the new rulers.
|Notes on, and drawings of, Persian cavalry by Ian Heath:|
Persian Cavalryman, Early-15th Century
Persian Cavalrymen C.1430
Persian Cavalryman C.1440
Persian Cavalryman, Late-15th Century
Persian Cavalryman C.1495