"Journey of the Prophet Muhammad", Folio from the Majma al-Tavarikh (Compendium of Histories)

Author: Hafiz-i Abru (d. 1430)

Object Name: Folio from an illustrated manuscript

Date: ca. 1425

Geography: Attributed to present-day Afghanistan, Herat

Culture: Islamic

Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper

Dimensions: 16.87 in. high 13.00 in. wide (42.8 cm high 33 cm wide)

Classification: Codices

Credit Line: Cora Timken Burnett Collection of Persian Miniatures and Other Persian Art Objects, Bequest of Cora Timken Burnett, 1956

Accession Number: 57.51.9


Many of the illustrations in this manuscript, in spite of the simplicity of their style—especially when compared to the highly polished and sophisticated paintings associated with Shah Rukh's son, Baisunghur—are effective in their straightforward presentation. Here the Prophet, perched atop the exaggerated hump of his dromedary, dominates the composition. His position, and that of his two attendants on foot, along the ground line, while harking back to the tradition of an earlier period, yet give them a distinct presence on the page. The mounted figures closely bunched together at the front of the procession seem positioned there to ensure that the Prophet would face no surprises on the journey.