"The White Horse Got Stuck to a Rock in Mount Vindhyachal", Folio from a Razmnama
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Attributed to India
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Page H. 13 3/4 x W. 8 15/16in. (35 x 22.7cm)
Painting H. 13 x W. 8 5/16in. (33 x 21.1cm)
Rogers Fund, 1955
Not on view
The Hindu work of the Mahabharata was translated into Persian and illustrated for ̒Abd al-Rahim, a military commander under the Mughal emperors Akbar and Jahangir. The tale, whose translation was called the Razmnama, chronicles the struggle of dynastic succession between the Kaurava and the Pandava clans. In the story, Arjuna, a member of the Pandava clan and one of the protagonists of the work, travels with a white sacrificial horse. After being lost in the Vindhya mountains, the horse is rediscovered by Arjuna, his four brothers, and Krishna. The awkwardness of the composition, with the horse’s placement in space isolated in the midground, is unusual for works painted by the well-known artist Fazl, who may have been overwhelmed by the enormity of his role in the project. The text panel that overlays much of the page follows the style of the imperial atelier under Akbar (r. 1556–1606).
Jack S. Rofe, Scotland (until 1929; his sale, Sotheby's, London, December 12, 1929, nos. 702, 704, 705, 707, 1537); [ Hagop Kevorkian, New York, by 1953]; [ Kevorkian Foundation, New York, until 1955; sold to MMA]
Robinson, Basil William. The Kevorkian Collection: Islamic and Indian Illustrated Manuscripts, Miniature Paintings and Drawings. New York, 1953. no. CCCLXXIV, p. 145.
Seyller, John. "The Freer Ramayana and Other Illustrated Manuscripts of 'Abd al-Rahim." In Workshop and Patron in Mughal India. Zurich, Switzerland: Artibus Asiae Publishers, 1999. pp. 256, 257, ill. fig. 167 (b/w).