An Orange–Headed Ground Thrush and a Death's-Head Moth on an Orchid Branch
Shaikh Zain al–Din
Illustrated album leaf
Opaque water color and ink on paper
Painting: H. 23.5 in. (59.7 cm)
W. 31.5 in. (80 cm)
Mat: H. 30 in. (76.2 cm)
W. 40 in. (101.6 cm)
Purchase, Friends of Islamic Art Gifts, 2012
Not on view
This painting comes from the Impey Album, formed by the Chief Justice of Bengal, Sir Elijah Impey, and his wife, Lady Mary, who employed a group of local artists to record the birds, animals, and flora of the menagerie they maintained at their Calcutta house. The original album comprised 326 paintings; many pages were distinctively inscribed in Persian with the name of the artist, and in English in Lady Impey’s hand. Shaikh Zain al-Din is considered the best of the three artists who worked on the album.
Signature: Shaikh Zain al–Din
Inscription: "In the Collection of Lady Impey in Calcutta. Painted by [in Persian] Shaikh Zain al–Din Native of Patna 1778."
Sir Elijah and Lady Impey, Calcutta (1778–his d. 1810; sale Phillips Auction Room,London, May 21, 1810); [ Eyre and Hobhouse, London, until 1983]; Private collection, USA (1983–2012); [ Oliver Forge and Brendan Lynch Ltd., London, 2012; sold to MMA]
Eyre, Giles, and Niall Hobhouse. Indian Painting, 1760–1870. London: Eyre and Hobhouse, 1983.