Moʿin Moṣavver | Manuscripts | tāriḵ-e ʿālām-ārā-ye šāh esmāʿil

Manuscript M, SE_140

Shah Esmāʿil Receiving an Emmissary from Sultan H̱oseyn Mirzā of Herat

In 910/1504-05 while Esmāʿil was preoccupied in Rostamdār, the governor of Abarquh, Moḥammad Karra, made a descent upon Yazd, seized the city, and killed the governor. Esmāʿil subsequently laid siege to the city capturing and executing Moḥammad Karra. These were the events that brought the shah to Yazd. While Esmāʿil was there, Sultan Ḥoseyn Mirzā, the aging Timurid ruler of Herat, sent his ṣadr, Emir Kamāl al-Din -- here referred to by his title Ḵˇāja Neẓām al-Molk - to congratulate the shah on his victories. Although many Aq Qoyunlu Turkmen had taken refuge in Rostamdār following the defeat of Sultan Morād, others fled into Khorasan where they instigated the Čaǧatāy army into committing atrocities against the population. For these acts Sultan Ḥoseyn apologized, explaining that he was too old to control Khorasan as he once had. Although Esmāʿil respected Sultan Ḥoseyn like a father, he made a sudden retaliatory strike against Ṭabas, reportedly killing 7000 Čaǧatāys.

The painting depicts the arrival of Emir Kamāl al-Din at the court of Esmāʿil in Yazd, bringing with him the message from Sultan Ḥoseyn and many gifts. Shah Esmāʿil, wearing a full length white robe with gold decoration, and a qezelbāš tāj, is seated in the upper right with a retainer just behind him. A number of qezelbāš emirs, local governors, and other Safavid dignitaries are dispersed on the right nd lower foreground. All eyes focus on a group at the left, where a qezelbāš officer presses Emir Kamāl al-Din to prostrate himself at the feet of the shah. At the bottom left foreground are two čaǧatāy retainers with horses laden with gifts from Sultan Ḥoseyn Mirā for Shah Esmāʿil.

See Ms.L, f110v for another version of this episode by Moʿin.

Location: Private Collection
Folio size:
31.8 x 21.6 cm. wide
17.9 x 13.0 cm. (scaled from folio size)
Written surface:
13.0 x 22.2 cm.(scaled from folio size)
Inscriptions: In red šāh esmāʿil on the white coat of the shah, and ḵˇāja neẓām al-molk on the Emmissary.
Marginal inscription in red describes the event depicted.

Painting references:
Text references:
Muntaẓer-Ṣāḥeb_1970, p.140.
See Savory, SA_1979, p.49 for this event in the History of Shah ʿĀbbās.

Robert Eng
Last Updated: November 16, 2011 | Originally published:
November 16, 2011