Rustam Kills the Turanian Hero Alkus with his Lance

Shahnama, Sultanate of Delhi, 1450



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Master of the Jainesque Shahnama.
From the David Collection museum, Denmark
India; c. 1450
Leaf: 32 × 26 cm
Very little Islamic book painting has been preserved from the sultanate period before the advent of the Mughals in 1526. This miniature comes from a manuscript made by an artist who was highly influenced by Jain art from western India. Both the intense palette and the depiction of figures differ from those found in other Islamic painting.
Rustam is portrayed without his customary leopard helmet and tiger caftan. An unusual detail is Alkus, the whites of his eyes showing as he begins his death throes. The hierarchic perspective in which the heroes are largest and figures in front are smaller is also curious.

Illustrations of Sultanate of Delhi soldiers of 1450:
Gushtasp Slays the Dragon
Rustam Grieving for His Son
Siyavash faces Afrasiyab across the Jihun River
Siyavash is Pulled from His Bed and Killed



Indian Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers