Siyer-i Nebi (Life of the Prophet)
This manuscript of the Life of the Prophet is a masterpiece of classical Ottoman illumination, elaborating a 9th-century account of the life of Muḥammad. It is the third volume of six; the first, second, and sixth volumes are in the Topkapı Library in Istanbul; the fourth is in the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, Ireland; and sheets from the remaining volume have been identified in various collections, suggesting that at some point it was disassembled. It was copied and illustrated for Sultan Murād III (reigned 1574–1595), an avid bibliophile and patron of numerous works, at the imperial court scriptorium in Istanbul. Several of its 128 full-page miniature paintings have been identified as the work of the master known as Hasan, and together they comprise the earliest illustrated version of the text, which begins with the story of the Prophet's night journey. Escorted by winged angels, Prophet Muḥammad can be seen mounted on his mare, Burāq. His face has, according to tradition, been whitened out.
Currently on View at Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
No copyright: United States