Arts of the Book: Illustrated Texts, Miniatures
The Ottoman Army Marching On The City Of Tunis In 1569 Ce
Ottoman, dated Dhu’l Hijja 988 H/12 January 1581 CE
Materials and technique
Opaque watercolour, gold and ink on paper
33.4 x 21.8 cm
The power of kingship was often celebrated through detailed histories of an individual ruler’s reign. The Ottomans and Mughals were specialists in this genre of historical literature. The present painting is a detached page from the Sehname-i Selim Han by Lokman (Istanbul, A 3595; this is fol. 65a), commissioned by Sultan Selim II (r. 1566-74 CE) and completed during the reign of his son, Sultan Murad III (r. 1574-95 CE). Lokman, the celebrated Ottoman historian, based his history of Selim II’s reign on the format of the great Persian epic, the Shahnama. The manuscript was copied by Ilyas Katib and illustrated by the most important Ottoman historical painter, Nakkash Osman, and his brother-in-law 'Ali (who worked on this page) in the typical Ottoman style of painting which has a straightforward documentary quality. Depicted here is the Ottoman army’s march with infantry and cavalry to retake the city of Tunis from Hapsburg Spain in 1569 CE; the Spanish had wrested the city from Ottoman control in 1534 CE.
© 2007 The Aga Khan Development Network. This is the only authorised Website of the Aga Khan Development Network.