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"Great Hornbill", Folio from the Shah Jahan Album

Artist:
Painting by Mansur (active ca. 1589–1626)
Calligrapher:
Mir 'Ali Haravi (d. ca. 1550)
Object Name:
Album leaf
Date:
recto: ca. 1540; verso: ca. 1615–20
Geography:
India
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Dimensions:
H. 15 1/4 in. (38.7 cm) W. 10 1/2 in. (26.7 cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Purchase, Rogers Fund and The Kevorkian Foundation Gift, 1955
Accession Number:
55.121.10.14
Not on view
The emperor Jahangir’s memoirs record many of the animals he encountered while on his annual peregrinations, and the reasons he wanted studies of them to be painted. While we do not have such notes for this painting, we can imagine that Jahangir was intrigued by the creature’s size, with a wingspan of up to five feet, and by the loud droning noise it emitted, audible a mile away.
Signature: 55.121.10.14 recto:
In Persian, in lower left of central panel: The slave Mir 'Ali.

Inscription: 55.121.10.14 verso:
Persian Inscription, in lower part of second border (in Jahangir's hand): "Work of Ustad Mansur"

Marking: 55.121.10.14 verso:
Margin number '43' is inscribed in the gilt margin.
Jack S. Rofe, Scotland (in 1929; sale, Sotheby's London,December 12, 1929, no. 145, to Kevorkian); [ Hagop Kevorkian, New York, from 1929]; [ Kevorkian Foundation, New York, until 1955; gift and sale to MMA]
Sotheby's: Catalogue of Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures. London: Sotheby's, New York, 1929. no. 145.

Welch, Stuart Cary. The Art of Mughal India : Painting and Precious Objects. An Asia House Gallery publication. New York: Asia Society, 1963. no. 37, p. 168, ill. pl. 37 (b/w).

"Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York." In The Arts of Islam. Berlin, 1981. no. 126, pp. 296-297, ill. p. 297 (color).

Welch, Stuart Cary, Annemarie Schimmel, Marie Lukens Swietochowski, and Wheeler M. Thackston. The Emperors' Album: Images of Mughal India. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. no. nos. 41, 42, pp. 165, 167-168, ill., verso pl. 41 (color); recto pl. 42 (b/w).

Beach, Milo C., Eberhard Fischer, and B.N. Goswamy. Masters of Indian Painting. Vol. Vols. I, II. Zurich, Switzerland: Artibus Asiae Publishers, 2011. vol. I, pp. 249, 254, ill. fig. 13 (color).

Okada, Amina. Imperial Mughal Painters: Indian Miniatures from the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Paris: Flammarion, 1992. pp. 216-217, ill. fig. 254 (color), verso.

Guy, John, and Jorrit Britschgi. Wonder of the Age: Master Painters of India 1100–1900. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 36, pp. 80, 84, ill. p. 84 (color).



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