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Siege of Baghdad, folio from an illuminated manuscript of the History of Genghis Khan

Khem Karan, Indian, active c.1580–c.1605
Artist Culture
Mughal period, 1526–1858
reign of Akbar, Mughal, reigned 1556–1605
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Made in
Lahore, Punjab province, Southern Asia, Pakistan, Asia
Drawings & watercolors, paintings
Current Location
Not on view
image: 13 3/4 x 8 7/8 in. (34.9 x 22.5 cm)
sheet: 15 1/8 x 10 1/16 in. (38.4 x 25.6 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of J. Lionberger Davis
Public Domain
Object Number
This painting depicts a scene from the dramatic and bloody siege at the city of Khazar, fought by two opposing Mongol armies in the thirteenth century. The Mongol conqueror Hülegü Khan (died 1265) is shown here astride his armored war horse in full battle dress, urging his troops onward into the savage fire of the enemy. The Hindu artist Khem Karan portrayed Hülegü as his troops are storming the fortified walls and winning the day. Hülegü was an illustrious ancestor of Akbar the Great, emperor of the Mughal dynasty of India. To commemorate the deeds of his forebears, Akbar commissioned his imperial artists to illustrate the History of Chingiz Khan, of which this battle scene by Khem Karan was a part.
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