Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Memoirs of Babur

Baburnamah : a 16th c. autobiographical, illuminated, Persian / Islamic manuscript (copy), courtesy of the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore.

The manuscript miniatures below are cropped: please click through to the full-sized, full-page images hosted in Walters' Flickr set.

Mughal manuscript miniature of battle

The Fall of Samarkand

Mughal manuscript miniature of a Persian battle
The battle of Sultan Ḥusayn Mīrzā against
Sultan Masʿūd Mīrzā at Hiṣṣār in the winter of 1495

Indian mughal miniature of castle siege
The siege and battle of Isfarah

Islamic manuscript miniature of Sultan receiving guests; falconry
Ḥamzah Sulṭān, Mahdī Sulṭan and Mamāq Sulṭān pay homage to Babur

Islamic manuscript painting; rural setting, sultan on horseback
Foray to Kuhat (Kohat)

Persian manuscript miniature of date palms, birds and dogs
Date Trees of Hindustan

MS miniature from India - people on raft on river
Babur, during his second Hindustan campaign, riding a raft from Kunar back to Atar

Islamic battle in Hindustan in manuscript painting
The battle of Panipat and the death of Sultan Ibrāhīm, the last of the Lōdī Sultans of Delhi

Islamic MS miniature of horse/rider procession into castle
Babur entering Kabul

Indian mughal MS miniature of Hindu devotees outdoors partly clothed
Babur and his warriors visit the Hindu temple Gurh Kattri (Kūr Katrī) in Bigram

MS miniature - Turkish/Islamic/Persian/Indian : hunting
Babur and his party hunting for rhinoceros in Swati

Mughal miniature painting of peacock and other animals 1500s
Animals of Hindustan: monkeys, rodents and a peacock

"Recognized as one of the world’s great autobiographical memoirs, the Baburnamah is the story of Zahir al-Din Muhammad Babur (1483-1530), who conquered northern India and established the Mughal Empire (or Timurid-Mughal empire).

Born in Fergana (Central Asia), Babur was a patrilineal Timurid and matrilineal Chingizid. Babur wrote his memoir in Chaghatay Turkish, which he referred to as Turkic, and it was later translated into Persian and repeatedly copied and illustrated under his Mughal successors.

The present copy in Persian, written in Nasta'liq script, is a fragment of a dispersed manuscript that was executed in the 16th century." {very slightly edited: PK}

Walters manuscript W.596 (Memoirs of Babur or Baburnamah) is available from the Walters Art Museum website or from their Flickr set.

Follow along on Twitter: Walters Art Museum and Will Noel (Manuscript Curator). Thanks Will! [Also see Will's great blog, Parchment and Pixel, where he features items of interest from the Museum].

The Walters Art Museum's online collection of manuscripts and rare books includes one hundred and forty Islamic works; or see the list: The Digital Walters.

Previously: arabic || illuminated


Belle said...


Der Metzgermeister said...

As I recall, Baburs grand-grand father is Timur (Tamerlane) and Genghis Khan is their common ancestor. Genghis Khan royal bloodline and his grand grand grandsons (including Tamerlane, babur and their successors) ruled Central Asia and Northern India in one form or another up 'till about the 19th century.

Great post and wondeful blog.

Tiffany D. Davidson said...

These are really beautiful.

Joe said...

living a 20 minute walk from the walters (which is free) is one of the best things about living in baltimore. fabulous collections, fabulous curation, tremendous exhibits.

Post a Comment

Comments are all moderated so don't waste your time spamming: they will never show up.

If you include ANY links that aren't pertinent to the blog post or discussion they will be deleted and a rash will break out in your underwear.

Also: please play the ball and not the person.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Creative Commons License