Miniature from Hafiz-i Abru’s Majma al-tawarikh. “Noah’s Ark”
Iran (Afghanistan), Herat; c. 1425
Leaf: 42.3 × 32.6 cm
Timur’s son Shah Rukh (1405-1447) ordered the historian Hafiz-i Abru to write a continuation of Rashid al-Din’s famous history of the world, Jami al-tawarikh. Like the Il-Khanids, the Timurids were concerned with legitimizing their right to rule, and Hafiz-i Abru’s “A Collection of Histories” covers a period that included the time of Shah Rukh himself.
The style of the manuscript’s miniatures is slightly old-fashioned compared with the otherwise refined Timurid painting, but the scene on the stormy sea is quite dramatic, with the fluttering sail, the ark breaking out of the picture frame, and the swollen bodies. The animals that are to populate the earth are rendered both humorously and fairly realistically.
Inv. no. 8/2005
American Art Association, Anderson Galleries, New York, 4/10-1936, 2. Session, lot 191;
Kjeld von Folsach: For the Privileged Few: Islamic Miniature Painting from The David Collection, Louisiana, Humlebæk 2007, cat.no. 18;
Christian Rohr: ”Sintflutdarstellungen: ein transkultureller Mythos durch Zeiten und Räume” in Gerrit Jasper Schenk et al. (ed.): Mensch - Natur – Katastrophe von Atlantis bis Heute, Museum Weltkulturen, Mannheim, Regensburg 2014, fig. 4;
Kjeld von Folsach, Joachim Meyer: The Human Figure in Islamic Art – Holy Men, Princes, and Commoners, The David Collection, Copenhagen 2017, cat.no. 23;
Mohamad Reza Ghiasian: Lives of the Prophets: the illustrations to Hafiz-i Abru's "Assembly of Chronicles", Leiden 2018, cat.no. 2.2, p. 141;