Miniature from volume 4 of a copy of Mustafa
al-Darir’s Siyar-i Nabi (Life of the Prophet). ”The Prophet Muhammad and the Muslim Army at the Battle of Uhud”
Turkey, Istanbul; c. 1594
Leaf: 37.3 × 27 cm
When the Prophet Muhammad is depicted in historical or religious works from the world of Islam, he is almost always shown veiled because of his exalted position, though there are exceptions.
The Prophet is seen here with his followers during the battle at the mountain of Uhud outside Medina in 625, when the Muslims suffered a defeat at the hands of troops sent out from Mecca.
The miniature comes from a six-volume edition of Siyar-i Nabi that was commissioned by the Ottoman sultan Murad III and completed in the palace workshops in Istanbul in 1595, shortly after the sultan’s death.
Inv. no. 13/2001
(V. Minorsky: The Chester Beatty Library: a catalogue of the Turkish manuscripts and miniatures, Dublin 1958, pp. 30-40 – about the mss, from which the miniature probably came);
Nouveau Drouot, Paris, 18/3-1985, lot 15;
Sotheby’s, London, 29/4-1998, lot 53;
Sotheby’s, London, 3/5-2001, lot 54;
Kjeld von Folsach: For the Privileged Few: Islamic Miniature Painting from The David Collection, Louisiana, Humlebæk 2007, cat.no. 61;
Kjeld von Folsach, Joachim Meyer: The Human Figure in Islamic Art – Holy Men, Princes, and Commoners, The David Collection, Copenhagen 2017, cat.no. 29;
Deniz Kitir: Klassisk og moderne islam, 2. ed., Aarhus 2020, p. 40;
Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen: Muslimernes Muhammad - og alle andres, København 2020, p. 303;
Thomas Hoffmann in Kjeld von Folsach, Joachim Meyer and Peter Wandel: Fighting, Hunting, Impressing. Arms and Armour from the Islamic World 1500-1850, The David Collection, Copenhagen 2021, fig. 1, p. 10;