A Tatar soldier

Historical period(s)
16th century
Ahmadnagar Court
Deccani school
Ink and slight tint on paper
H x W: 23.8 x 13.3 cm (9 3/8 x 5 1/4 in)
India, Deccan plateau, Maharashtra state, Ahmadnagar
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


bow, India, shield, sword, warrior

To 1929
Kirkor Minassian, New York to 1929 [1]

From 1929
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Kirkor Minassian, New York in 1929 [2]


[1] Object file, undated folder sheet note.

[2] See note 1. Also see Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List file, Collections Management Office.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Kirkor Minassian 1874-1944


While much of northern India was under the rule of the Mughal emperors, the Deccan plateau of the south was controlled by a series of Muslim sultanates, including Ahmadnagar, which was ruled by the Nizam Shahi sultans. As in the rest of the Deccan, foreigners, or afaqis, were a major presence at the court; in fact, their strong cultural links with the Middle East, especially Iran, has often led to confusion between Deccani and Iranian painting styles. Turkoman princes themselves, possibly accompanied by their painters and artisans, emigrated from Tabriz in Iran to the Deccan in the late fifteenth century. While the subject of this drawing is a Turkoman warrior, the emphasis on the volume of the body as well as the speckling on the shield and the style of the plumed cap are typical conventions of the Deccan art of Ahmadnagar.

Published References
  • Friedrich Paul Theodor Sarre, Fredrik Robert Martin. Die Ausstellung von Meisterwerken Muhammedanischer Kunst in Muchen, 1910. 3 vols., Munich. cat. 743, vol. 1, pl. 17.
  • Fredrik Robert Martin. The Miniature Painting and Painters of Persia, India, and Turkey from the 8th to the 18th Century. 2 vols., London. vol. 1: pp. 31-32, vol. 2: pl. 55.
  • Josef von Karabacek. Zur Orientalischen Altertumskunde. Akademie der Wissenschaften.; Philosophisch-Historische Klasse; Sitzungsberichte 7 vols., Vienna, 1907-1917. vol. 4: p. 62.
  • Dr. Ananda K. Coomaraswamy. Early Persian Paintings in America. vol. 3, no. 3 New York, March 1923. following p. 176.
  • Sir E. A. Wallis Budge. The Monks of Kubla Khan, Emperor of China. London. facing p. 288, pl. XVI.
  • Dr. Ananda K. Coomaraswamy. Les Miniatures Orientales de la Collection Goloubew au Museum of Fine Arts Boston. vol. 13, Paris. p. 17, no. 10.
  • Mark Zebrowski. Deccani Painting. Berkeley, 1982-1983. p. 25.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. The Brush of the Masters: Drawings from Iran and India. Exh. cat. Washington, 1978. cat. 8, p. 28.
  • Caroline Campbell, Alan Chong. Bellini and the East. Exh. cat. New Haven. p. 86.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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