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"Red-Headed Vulture and Long-Billed Vulture", Folio from the Shah Jahan Album

Painting by Mansur (active ca. 1589–1626)

Calligrapher:
Mir 'Ali Haravi (d. ca. 1550)
Object Name:
Album leaf
Date:
verso: ca. 1615–20; recto: ca. 1535–45
Geography:
India
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Dimensions:
H. 15 3/8 in. (39.1 cm) W. 10 1/16 in. (25.6 cm)_
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Purchase, Rogers Fund and The Kevorkian Foundation Gift, 1955
Accession Number:
55.121.10.12
  • Description

    The artist Mansur became such a master in painting flora and fauna that he received the title nadir al-'asr, "rare one of the age." Ornithologically accurate, the vultures as revealed by the brush of Mansur are far more than avian specimens. His masterful hand is evident in the subtle gradations of sooty hues and pearly beige and gray shades of the feathers. The sketchy rock suggestive of ground plane and the linear outline of the half-toned rock are not an actual habitat but a plausible setting out of the artist’s imagination.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Signature: 55.121.10.12 verso:
    In Persian, in nasta'liq, on lower part of tree stump: Work of the servant of the palace Mansur Nadir al-Asr.

    55.121.10.12 recto:
    In Persian under main calligraphy: The poor, the sinner, 'Ali the royal scribe.

    Inscription: 55.121.10.12 verso:
    In Persian, in nasta'liq, on upper part of tree stump: Jahangir-shahi.

    Marking: 55.121.10.12 verso:
    Margin number '39' is inscribed in the gilt margin.

  • Provenance

    Jack S. Rofe, Scotland (in 1929; sale, Sotheby's London,December 12, 1929, to Kevorkian); [ Hagop Kevorkian, New York, from 1929]; [ Kevorkian Foundation, New York, until 1955; gift and sale to MMA]

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
451260

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