The squarish format of this painting of a black buck, attributed to the artist Manohar, required filling the extra space within the "window" of the border, adroitly accomplished with two leaves of poetry, possibly taken from a type of narrow oblong manuscript known as a safina. The lower page, signed by the Persian master Sultan 'Ali Mashhadi in the triangular box at the right, contains verse by the great poet Jami. Manohar painted several versions of this subject for the emperor, who mentions his fondness for his favorite decoy black buck in his memoirs.
Signature: 188.8.131.52 verso: In Persian, in center margin: Written by Mir 'Ali the scribe.
Marking: 55.121.17 recto: Margin number '26' is inscribed in the gilt margin.
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]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Emperor's Album: Images of Mughal India," October 21, 1987–February 14, 1988, no. 50.
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. 50, pp. 184-185, ill. pl. 50 (color).
Okada, Amina. Imperial Mughal Painters: Indian Miniatures from the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Paris: Flammarion, 1992. p. 140, ill. fig. 158 (b/w), recto.