the miniature repre-senting the pilgrimage of Adam


The artists working for the Timurids were responsible for the development of a true national style of Persian painting. Shah Rukh (1404-1447) and his son Baisunkur Mirza were great patrons of the arts of the book. One of the earliest Timurid paintings in the Burnett collection represents a pair of lovers in a garden, probably Humay and Humayun. It is unusually large, measuring I9 Y by 12 9/6 inches, and comes from the same manuscript of Rashid ad-Din’s Jami at-Tawarikh, or “Universal History,” as the Jonah and the Whale in the Metropolitan Mu-seum. This work of the famous Mongol historian and vizier of emperors Ghazan and Uljaitu re-mained popular under the Timurids. Several Timurid miniatures in the Burnett Be-quest came from another copy of the Jami at- Tawarikh which can also be dated in the period of Shah Rukh. Here, as in the miniature repre-senting the pilgrimage of Adam, the Timurid style is fully developed. Of particular interest is the treatment of the landscape with spongy mountains that appears in so many Timurid paintings of the fifteenth century. Another Timurid miniature in this collection is a rare painting on silk. Only very few Persian silk paintings are in existence. One is in the Boston Museum and another one was formerly in the collection of Countess de Behague in Paris. The Burnett painting represents a garden scene with two lovers.

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