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ULUGH BEK WITH FAMILY AND SUITE ON A FALCONRY, Miniature from an unknown manuscript. The Freer Gallery MS, Washington
ULUGH  BEK   WITH  FAMILY  AND SUITE ON A FALCONRY


Untill Bekhzad in Central Asia portrait painting was not a common case in miniature painting. Perhaps, Timurs portraits we have today are the copies from the original ones but no longer existing. This miniature leaves no doubt in authentication. Here we see the inscription: The greatest Sultan, Ulugh Bek Gurgan, God bless him. Probably, it is a right part of the diptych because of the miniatures composition. On the left part there could be the scene of hunting arrangement. We see the carpets on the green meadow. Under the tent there is a tsar with his family and his supporters. Four women in high Mongol headwear are his wives from tsar harem. On the foreground there are two sons Abd al-Latif and Abd al-Aziz. On the left side it is tsar suite: armed emirs, councilors, noblemen and two falconers. Ulugh Bek was a real hunting fan, he had a special list of wildfowl he shot. On this miniature he relaxes on open air.
Is it a real Ulugh Beks portrait? By all means, it is close to a real man, but this portrait renders more a type of a man then his individuality. His white hat, fur caps of other men in the picture are common for Turco establishment of Ulugk Beks suite.
This miniature says that an artist is an outstanding master of composition, landscape and group portrait.