"Bhil Couple Hunting Deer at Night", Folio from the Davis Album

Not on view

Night hunts were a favorite object of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Mughal painters, serving as settings for both royal hunts and for a genre of paintings featuring tribal forest dwellers, such as the couple seen here dressed in leaf skirts and hunting deer. The woman catches the herd's attention with a torch while her companion shoots an arrow, felling the stag. Their village of thatched huts, set in a forest clearing, occupies the middle ground. Illuminated by the soft glow of the moon, the composition is a study in light and shadow, the master exponent of which in the mid-eighteenth century was the painter Mir Kalan Khan, whose atelier may have been responsible for this painting.

"Bhil Couple Hunting Deer at Night", Folio from the Davis Album, Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper

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