"Spotted Forktail", Folio from the Shah Jahan Album

Painting by Abu'l Hasan Indian
Calligrapher Mir 'Ali Haravi

Not on view

Jahangir (r. 1605–27) ordered this portrait of a spotted forktail from Abu'l Hasan, the artist upon whom he bestowed the honorific title "Wonder of the Age." The inscription states that the emperor’s servants hunted this particular bird but does not say whether they killed it or merely captured it before it was portrayed. The silk ground adds a particular luster to the painting, further enhanced by the bird’s shiny eye, which contains glittering chips of a reflective material, probably mica.

"Spotted Forktail", Folio from the Shah Jahan Album, Painting by Abu'l Hasan (Indian, born ca. 1588/89, active 1600–1628), Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on silk

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