Yudhishthira with Bhishma, from the Razm-namah, by Fattu, 1598

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(downloaded Sept. 2003)

"YUDHISHTHIRA WITH BHISMA IN A PAVILION. Ascribed to Fattu, Mughal India, 1598. From a manuscript of the Razmnama, gouache heightened with gold on paper, the two noblemen conversing in a pavilion with attendants waiting outside, four lines of black naskh above, slight oxidation, laid down on another manuscript leaf, inscribed below Fattu, verso with text page. Folio 11 5/8 x 6¾in. (29.6 x 17.2cm.); miniature 7 1/8 x 4¼in. (18.1 x 10.8cm.)

Lot Notes: The Philadelphia Free Library has two other miniatures by Fattu from this manuscript. He also worked on the Baburnama of 1597-8 in the National Museum of Art, New Delhi."

Yudhishthira and Bhishma in discussion-- another version by Da'ud, 1598

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(downloaded Apr. 2005)

"AN ILLUSTRATION FROM THE 1598 RAZMNAMA: BHISMA AND YUDHISTHIRA IN DISCUSSION, ASCRIBED TO DA'UD, MUGHAL INDIA, 1598. Black ink with colour wash heightened with gold on paper, 1 line inscription at foot of page in black nasta'liq, 2 ll. of text above, reverse with 27 ll. of small black nasta'liq within text panel, some flaking and very slight worming, mostly confined to margins. Folio 10¾ x 6 1/8in. (27 x 15.5cm.); painting 7 7/8 x 4¼in. (20 x 11cm.).

Lot Notes:  Inscribed below 'Da'ud, brother of Dawlat'.

The Razmnama is the abridged version of the Hindu epic poem the Mahabharata which tells the story of the rivalry between cousins, the Pandavas and the Kauravas, for the kingdom of Hastinapura. A central figure is the god Krishna, who assists the Pandava brothers. The massive work was translated into Persian at Akbar's request in 1582-3, but the presentation manuscript with 168 paintings, now preserved in the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum in Jaipur, was not comleted until 1586.

This illustration comes from the second copy of the Razmnama which was finished in 1598-9, and of which the final five parts ad the colophon are preserved in the British Library. It is not a mere replica or simplified version of the imperial prototype, as less than a fifth of its paintings represent subjects found in the Jaipur Razmnama. This scene, for example, is not represented in the imperial copy. In this scene, Bhimsa and Yudhisthira discuss the issue of whom kings should trust, and Bhisma relates to the story of Brahmadatta's discourse with the bird Pujani after the prince had killed Pujani's offspring."

*The aftermath: life in the forest; from the Razmnamah, 1598* (BL)

"Kunti leading Gandhari. Description: Gandhari, blindfolded, supporting Dhrtarashtra and following Kunti when Dhrtarashtra became old and infirm and retired to the forest. A miniature painting from a sixteenth century manuscript of part of the Razmnama, the Persian translation of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. Title of Work:  Razmnama. Author:  Naqib Khan (translator). Illustrator:  Dhanu. Production:  India, 1598. Language/Script:  Persian."

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