Umar Disguised as the Surgeon Mazmahil, Arrives before the Castle of Antali from a Hamzanama

Artist: Attributed to Shravana and Mahesha
Historical period(s)
Mughal dynasty, Reign of Akbar, ca. 1570
Mughal Court
Mughal School
Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on cotton cloth
H x W (overall): 79.2 x 64 cm (31 3/16 x 25 3/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Freer Gallery 01: Body Image: Arts of the Indian Subcontinent


Hamzanama, India, Mughal dynasty (1526 - 1858), palace, Reign of Akbar (1556 - 1605), Umar, WWII-era provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable

The Persian Hamzanama, or tales of Hamza, (an uncle of Prophet Muhammed), consists of a series of wild and fantastic adventures that appear to have been a favorite of the young Mughal Emperor Akbar. The Hamzanama's mélange of fact, fiction, and folk tales revolves around heroic Hamza and his friend Amr who spread Islam throughout the world. The episode depicted here shows Amr, disguised as the surgeon Mizzmuhil, approaching the citadel at Antalya where several of Hamza's followers were imprisoned. The artist presents an undisturbed view of the fort's exterior walls as well as all its interior activities.

Published References
  • Milo Cleveland Beach. The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court. Exh. cat. Washington, 1981. cat. 5b, pp. 21, 87,40,65.
  • Milo Cleveland Beach. The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court., 2nd. Washington and Ahmedabad, India, 2012. cat. 6E, p. 57.
  • foreward by Milo Cleveland Beach. The Magnificent Mughals. New York. p. 154, fig. 10.
  • John Seyller. The Adventures of Hamza: Painting and Storytelling in Mughal India. Washington. cat. 70, pp. 217, 307.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Worlds within Worlds: Imperial Paintings from India and Iran
Google Cultural Institute
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