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Conserving the Emperor's Carpet
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"Red-Headed Vulture and Long-Billed Vulture", Folio from the Shah Jahan Album
"Great Hornbill", Folio from the Shah Jahan Album
"Diving Dipper and Other Birds", Folio from the Shah Jahan Album
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This artwork is currently on display in Gallery 463
The nilgai, though known as a blue bull, is a type of antelope found in central and northern India and eastern Pakistan. This study was painted by Mansur, probably after observing the animal in Jahangir’s (r. 1605–27) zoological garden. While great detail is lavished on the depiction of the animal, down to the distinctive swirl of hair where his neck meets his body, the background makes no reference to the nilgai’s natural habitat. As in portraits of people, a neutral or harmonious setting prevailed in Mughal animal paintings.
Signature: 220.127.116.11 verso:
In Persian near forelegs: Work of the servant of the palace Mansur Nadir al-Asr.
In Persian in upper left corner: Written by the sinful slave 'Ali, may God forgive his sins.Marking: 18.104.22.168 verso:
Margin number '25' 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, 1929–55; gift and sale to MMA)
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