Arts of the Book: Illustrated Texts, Miniatures
The Architect Nu’man Is Thrown From A Fortress
India or Iran
16th century CE or later
Materials and technique
Ink, opaque watercolour and gold on paper
Although this episode does not appear in the most frequently illustrated Persian manuscripts, such as the Shahnama of Firdawsi or the Khamsa of Nizami, the story of an architect being thrown from a parapet to his death in the presence of a king recalls the tale of Timur (Tamerlane) ordering the execution of an architect whose work displeased him. The style of the painting relates to that of the Turkman school, with the oversized clusters of flowers, limited number of figures, and narrow range of facial expressions. However, the palette and matte surface finish may indicate that this painting was either produced or “improved” in India.
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