Babur meeting with Sultan Ali Mirza at the Kohik River, from a Babur-nama (Memoirs of Babur)

Thirty years before he captured Delhi and founded the Mughal Empire, Babur began his expansionist activities at the age of 13, as depicted in this painting of an encounter that took place in 1496. Having traveled long distances across harsh dry terrain, Babur confronted one of his rivals who, like him, was angling to march on and conquer the illustrious city of Samarkand, the former capital of his ancestor Timur.

Opaque watercolor and gold on paper


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Cleveland Museum of Art

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