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Mongol Archer on Horseback
Signed (lower right) Muhammad ibn Mahmudshah al-Khayyam
Iran, early 15th century
Ink and gold on paper
Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Orientabteilung (Diez A fol. 72, 5.13)
cat. 20
Photo: Ellwandt, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin
[click on top image for full object view]

Mongol Archer on Horseback Mongol Archer on Horseback
Mongol Archer on Horsebackdetail

Although this drawing postdates the period of Ilkhanid rule and instead belongs to the Timurid dynasty (1370-1507) its subject is not a contemporary one.

  Mongol Archer on Horseback detail
For example, the rider's costume (including his distinctive owl-feathered headdress) was no longer in fashion at the Timurid court, although the imagery must have appealed to a Timurid audience given the dynasty's claims to Mongol ancestry.   Mongol Archer on Horseback detail

The artist, Muhammad ibn Mahmudshah al-Khayyam, probably based his composition on an Ilkhanid work perhaps preserved in an album. These albums, which were first assembled in Iran in the fifteenth century, contained paintings, calligraphy, sketches, designs, and stencils for transferring designs that served as models and source materials for later generations of artists.

  Mongol Archer on Horseback detail
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