Coronation of Sultan Husayn Mirza Bayqara

Sultan Husayn Mirza Bayqara was the last ruler of the Timurid empire (reigned 1469–1506). By the time he ascended the throne at age thirty-one, the once-vast empire was radically diminished in size, but his reign was one of the most brilliant moments in the history of Timurid art and culture.

Although Timurid artists rarely depicted actual events, this painting represents Sultan Husayn Mirza Bayqara’s coronation in 1469. Kneeling on a throne inscribed with his name, the ruler is accompanied by his son Badi al-Zaman. To the right, an attendant carries a gold crown, while another shields it with a small, gold parasol. Both objects were the most important attributes of kingship in the Timurid era. Such carefully observed court ceremonies became a favorite subject in Mughal art.

Coronation of Sultan Husayn Mirza Bayqara
Attributed to Mansur
Historic Iran (present-day Afghanistan), Herat, Timurid dynasty, ca. 1469
Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper
Lent by the Art and History Collection LTS1995.2.26