Ghengis Khan and His Legacy

The Continuity in Ilkhanid, Jalayirid and Timurid Visual Arts

This study aims to discuss the interrelation between Ilkhanid, Jalayirid and Timurid artists and works of art. It first focuses on a sixteenth-century text, now in the Topkapı Palace  Museum Library, which was written by the Safavid artist Dust Muhammad as a preface to an album that he compiled. According to Dust Muhammad, the artists who worked for Ilkhanid rulers continued to produce under Jalayirid patrons and trained younger generation of artists. This continuous artistic genealogy evidently resulted in pictorial conventions shared between generations.

The second part of the study deals with the tradition of book illustration passed down from Ilkhanids to Jalayirids and focuses on an unfinished Jalayirid Shahnama produces for  Shaykh Uvays. The manuscript survived through its illustrations pasted onto the leaves of another Topkapı Palace album. These extant paintings are closely related to an Ilkhanid Shahnama datable to 1330-35 Both the iconographic preferences and stylistic affinity illustrate the continuity between the two artistic traditions. The remains of the Jalayirid Shahnama served as a pictorial sourse for another copy of the text produced almost fifty years later. The Timurid prince Baysunghur b. Shahrukh carried this unfinished work to Herat around 1420, and his artists re-interpreted these images as the model for his Shahnama complete in 1430. These three illustrated Shahnama copies exemplify the survival of the artistic heritage of the Ilkhanids in Jalayirid and Timurid courts.

Prof. Serpil Bağcı
DOI: 10.53478/TUBA.2021.032