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  • Place of origin:

    Mughal Empire (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1615 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Manohar (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted in opaque watercolour and gold on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Lady Wantage.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The study of an Indian black buck being led by its keeper was painted by the Mughal court artist Manohar, who signed his work on the green ground at top and bottom of the painting. The posture of the keeper who bends one knee, crouching slightly, while looking over his shoulder, is conceivably inspired by the figure of Joseph in Albrecht Durer's engraving The Flight to Egypt. Engravings by, or after, Durer reached the Mughal court in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, brought mainly by the Jesuits who came from Portuguese Goa, and in several cases were copied directly by the imperial artists.
Little is known of Manohar, but contemporary ascriptions to manuscripts attest to his having entered royal service under the Mughal emperor Akbar (r. 1556-1605) and he became one of the most important artists of his son and successor, Jahangir (r. 1605-1627). Floral borders were added to his painting late in the reign of Jahangir or early in the reign of Shah Jahan, and the page was preserved in a royal album which became dismembered at some unknown date. This folio was bequeathed to the museum by Lady Wantage in 1921.

Physical description

Painting, in opaque watercolour and gold on paper, an Indian black buck, facing left, is bulled forwards by its keeper who bends his body and looks backwards over his shoulder towards the animal. He wears a jama of dark orange, shalwar of pale mauve, and slippers with scarlet bands. His turban is white and he has an earring in his right ear. The ground is pale green. Above and below the picture are bands of Persian verses in sloping lines. Flowering plants outlined in gold and painted with colours, now very faded, fill the borders.

Place of Origin

Mughal Empire (made)


ca. 1615 (painted)


Manohar (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Painted in opaque watercolour and gold on paper

Marks and inscriptions

manohar bande-ye/ shah-e jahangir
Manohar, slave of Jahangir
The Persian inscription is written in black ink and begins at the bottom of the picture, ending (and partly cut off), at the top.


Height: 38.9 cm page, Width: 26.3 cm page, Height: 16.8 cm painting only, Width: 15.8 cm painting only

Descriptive line

Painting, Indian black buck, by Manohar, in opaque watercolour and gold on paper, Mughal, ca. 1615

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Susan Stronge, Painting for the Mughal emperor. The art of the book 1560-1660, V&A Publications, London 2002, plate 102, p. 137.
p.39, cat. no. 13
Swallow, D., Stronge, S., Crill, R., Koezuka, T., editor and translator, "The Art of the Indian Courts. Miniature Painting and Decorative Arts", Victoria & Albert Museum and NHK Kinki Media Plan, 1993.
No. 10, pl. 8
Clarke, C. Stanley; Indian Drawings: Thirty Mogul Paintings of the School of Jehangir and Four Panels of Calligraphy ini the Wantage Bequest. London 1922
pl. 34
Irwin, John C., Indian Art, Victoria and Albert Museum, London: H. M. Stationery Office, 1968
fig. 13, p. 12
Irwin, John; Indian Art: Victoria & Albert Museum departmental guide, H.M.S.O. ISBN 0 905209117, 1978


Opaque watercolour; Gold; Paper; Paint



Subjects depicted

Buck; Man


Images Online; Paintings; Animals and Wildlife; Bonita Trust Indian Paintings Cataloguing Project


South & South East Asia Collection

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