Miniature from a copy of Rashid al-Din’s Jami al-tawarikh. “Tayang Khan Presented with the Head of the Mongol Leader Ong Khan”
India, Mughal; c. 1596
Miniature: 35.1 × 20.9 cm
By commissioning a copy of Rashid al-Din’s famous History of the World, Akbar emphasized that his own family was descended from Genghis Khan. The beautiful, colorful, and very detailed miniature illustrates an episode from the history of the Mongols. The soldiers are shown with contemporary Mughal paraphernalia, for example muskets. Horribly realistic details, such as decapitated heads, are shown alongside a puzzle picture of an elephant’s head at the top of the cliffs.
A contemporary note under the painting states that it was drawn by Miskina and colored by Kesu, both of whom worked in Akbar’s studio.
Inv. no. 39/1980
Sotheby’s, London, 22/4 1980, lot 32;
Davids Samling: Islamic arms and armour from private Danish collections, Davids Samling, København 1982, p. 43, fig. 2;
Kjeld von Folsach: Islamic art. The David Collection, Copenhagen 1990, cat.no. 43;
Kjeld von Folsach: “Textiles and society” in Carpet and textile art, 1994, 1.Hali annual, p. 23, fig. 11;
Kjeld von Folsach, Torben Lundbæk and Peder Mortensen (eds.): Sultan, Shah and Great Mughal: the history and culture of the Islamic world, The National Museum, Copenhagen 1996, cat.no. 87;
Kjeld von Folsach: Art from the World of Islam in The David Collection, Copenhagen 2001, cat.no. 66;
Kjeld von Folsach: For the Privileged Few: Islamic Miniature Painting from The David Collection, Louisiana, Humlebæk 2007, cat.no. 74;
Gian Carlo Calza (ed.): Akbar : the Great Emperor of India 1542-1605, Fondazione Roma Museo, Milano 2012, cat.no. IV.11, pp. 160 og 257;
Kjeld von Folsach, Joachim Meyer: The Human Figure in Islamic Art – Holy Men, Princes, and Commoners, The David Collection, Copenhagen 2017, fig. 27, p. 101;
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, cat.no. 53;