Moʿin Moṣavver | Manuscripts | History of Shah Esmāʿil | tāriḵ-e jahāngushā'i-ye ḵāqān-e ṣāḥibibqirān

Manuscript N, jkjk_057

Sultan ʿAli Pādešāh, Departing to Battle the Turkmans, Bids Farewell to his Younger Brother Esmāʿil

Location: Present whereabouts unknown. Formerly in the Collection of Reza Khan Monif, New York.
Mount: green with gold 35.6 x 23.5 cm; color of collar not known.
Written surface: not known
Painting: not known
Text references: J.K., p.57 line 3 to line 10.
See Savory, SA_1979, p. 39 for this event in the History of Shah ʿĀbbās

Date of this event: 898/1492-93.
Sultan Ḥeydar, father of Esmāʿil, was killed in battle in 893/1488. Sultan ʿAli Pādešāh, the eldest of Ḥeydar's sons became head of the family and vowed to continue the fight against the Turkmans. But he and his two brothers, Esmāʿil and Ebrāhim, were taken into custody in 894/1489 and held until 898/1493 when they were set free by Rostam Mirzā in his attempt for power in Turkman lands. Rostam employed Sultan ʿAli in several campaigns to destroy his opposition, but when Sultan ʿAli's followers became too numerous, and his successes too great, Rostam turned against him and sent a large force under the command of Eyba Ṣoltān to pursue Sultan ʿAli. Although greatly outnumbered, and having a premonition of his own death, Sultan ʿAli confronted the Turkman force. Fulfilling his premonition Sultan ʿAli died in the ensuing battle, and the young Esmāʿil became the new leader of the Safavids.

The painting shows Sultan ʿAli Pādešāh consoling Esmāʿil prior to embarking to the battle with the Turkmans. Sultan ʿAli bids farewell to his younger brother, and confides to him that in this battle he will die. He entreats that Esmāʿil must continue the fight with those that killed his father, and requests that when he is dead that Esmāʿil place his body next to their father Sultan Ḥeydar. The two brothers are on hoseback moving to the left; a diminutive groom precedes them. And on the far right is a "stack" of seven qezelbāš followers. The setting is a barren landscape with a single tree. Not signed or dated.

Painting references:
Anderson Gallery, February 29 - March 1, 1924, Lot 221

Photo after Anderson Gallery sale catalog.

Robert Eng
Originally published:
December 27, 2012