Folio from the Hamzanama (Volume 11): Tul Zangi and Farrukhsuwar are captured by Tahmasp


MAK – Museum of Applied Arts

MAK – Museum of Applied Arts
Vienna, Austria

The Hamzanama is based on a story from a centuries-old oral tradition. It tells of Hamza ibn Abdul-Muttalib (c. 569–625), the uncle of the prophet Muhammad (c. 570–632). The historical Hamza was opposed to Islam at first until he converted in 615, after which he became one of its most ardent advocate. The historical facts were embroidered over the centuries with a variety of fictional events. The tales of the Hamzanama are about the struggles of the Muslims against the “infidels” and the attempt to convert them; likewise legendary sorcerers, demons and fairies, daring heroes, brave women and trickster spies, who are said to have played a role in the life of the Amir Hamza. They were commissioned by Akbar, the “Great” (r. 1556–1605), probably the most influential of all Mughal rulers, and were created between 1557 and 1577 in his court workshops. It is renowned as one of the most important works of painting in the Islamic world. Today a total of 200 out of the original 1 400 folios of Akbar’s Hamzanama have been preserved in various collections worldwide. The MAK has the greatest quantity, with 60 folios. This incongruence in preservation and the many oral versions of Hamza’s story prevent a more precise determination of the sequence of the folios.


  • Title: Folio from the Hamzanama (Volume 11): Tul Zangi and Farrukhsuwar are captured by Tahmasp
  • Creator: Akbar
  • Date Created: 1557–1577
  • Location: India
  • Subject Keywords: Library and Works on Paper
  • External Link: MAK – Museum of Applied Arts
  • Material and Technology: Cotton, paper, tempera, water color, India ink
  • Inventory Number: BI 8770-30r
  • Dimensions: 70 x 55 cm
  • Artist: Akbar

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