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Prince Mikhr beheading a lion at one blow. Assar. Mikhr va Mushtari. The Freer Gallery. Washington. 1523. Bukhara
PRINCE MIKHR BEHEADING A LION AT ONE BLOW, Assar. Mikhr va Mushtari


Battle scenes are favorite to illustrate poetic things. This miniature is done for the manuscript telling about prince Mikhr and his friend Mushtari. Their names are translated as Jupiter and Mars.
This is a very simple and laconic picture with restrained colours. Grace of the prince contradicts with his power of beheading a lion at one blow. But during a feudal epoch a tsar was like God so contradiction of such kind was not so strange for people of XVI century.
The composition of this miniature is dynamic but archaic a little bit. The lions body and the body of the prince are like on the heraldic old compositions.
Combining of spacious light-blue background and little peoples figures against it marks greatness of Nature. The other characters going down the hill are like on the miniatures of Bekhzad illustrating the manuscript Khosrov Dihlevi (SPB, Dorn 394). It says about close relations to Herat school, some borrowings of sketches by the artists gone away to Bukhara after Sheibanid invasion.