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This extraordinary drawing represents an animal kingdom in which peace and harmony reign supreme, and in which lion and antelope, ostrich and dragon, elephant and crocodile can live side by side. The fine workmanship is representative of the acute observation and refined talent of the master artists of Akbar's (r.1556-1605) atelier. Noted artist Miskin has included nearly one hundred creatures in this study and has given each loving attention.
The upper levels of the drawing feature a range of birds, including a stunning phoenix; the large central area is occupied by land animals: elephants, tigers, lions, camels, deer, goats, sheep, monkeys, bears and cats. The lowest zone portrays creatures of the sea: crocodiles, crabs, turtles, fish, seals. Tinted drawings such as this were known in Persian as nim qalam, or "half pen," and were popular with the Mughals; they are not preparatory drawings. The margin decoration of ducks and cranes in a landscape, produced as was customary by an artist who specialized in borders, harmonizes with the central theme.
- Published References
- Dr. Esin Atil. The Brush of the Masters: Drawings from Iran and India. Exh. cat. Washington, 1978. cat. 70, pp. 116-117.
- Milo Cleveland Beach. The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court. Exh. cat. Washington, 1981. cat. 19, pp. 125, 192.
- Richard Ettinghausen. Studies in Muslim Iconography I: The Unicorn. vol. 1, no. 3 Washington. pl. 37.
- M.A. Alvi A. Rahman. Jahangir: The Naturalist. New Delhi. pl. 1.
- Edgar Blochet. Catalogue of an Exhibition of Persian Paintings...held at the Gallery Demotte Inc. Exh. cat. New York. cat. 173, p. 10.
- Anand Krishna. A Living Hereditary Artist of the Mughal School. New Delhi, 1955-1956. cat. nos. 1-2, pp. 77-78, pl. 19.
- Milo Cleveland Beach. The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court., 2nd. Washington and Ahmedabad, India, 2012. cat. 45, pp.172-174, fig. 47.
- Collection Area(s)
- South Asian and Himalayan Art
- Web Resources
- Worlds within Worlds: Imperial Paintings from India and Iran
- Google Cultural Institute
- Rights Statement
Copyright with museum