Folio from the Hamza-nama (Tales of Hamza): Qasam al-Abbas Arrives from Mecca and Crushes Tahmasp with a Mace
Here the hero Qasam al-Abbas fights the giant villain Tahmasp. Their different mounts suggest their different nationalities: Qasam rides a camel, which together with the white cloth fastened in his helmet and looped around his face, is meant to indicate his Arab origins. (Indeed, the text confirms that he comes from Mecca, the center of Muslim pilgrimage on the Arabian peninsula.) Tahmasp, on the other hand, is a Persian villain and so rides a beautifully caparisoned Persian horse that wears gold armor held together by blue, Persian-style textiles.
Artform: MANUSCRIPTS (Bookarts), MAPS AND CALLIGRAPHY
Artist: Manesha, Attributed to
Artist Dates: active 1570-1590
Country/Culture: Islamic: India
Period: 16th century
Medium: opaque watercolor with gold and silver leaf on cloth
Size: 78.7 x 64.8 cm
Museum: Philadelphia Museum of Art
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