Please complete the form to email this item.

Akbar assists in capturing a cheetah

  • Object:

    Painting

  • Place of origin:

    Mughal Empire (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1586 - ca. 1589 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Tulsi (artist, outline, maker)
    Narayan (artist, painter, maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted in opaque watercolour and gold on paper

  • Museum number:

    IS.2:2-1896

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

  • Download image

Depicts painting from the Akbarnama which shows the emperor Akbar assisting in lifting a cheetah out of a pit. This was the first time that Akbar had caught a cheetah, using techniques devised to ensure that the animals were not harmed. Cheetahs were tamed, and used in hunting.
The Akbarnama was commissioned by the emperor Akbar as the official chronicle of his reign. It was written by his court historian and biographer Abu'l Fazl between 1590 and 1596 and is thought to have been illustrated between c. 1592 and 1594 by at least forty-nine different artists from Akbar's studio. After Akbar's death in 1605, the manuscript remained in the library of his son, Jahangir (r. 1605-1627) and later Shah Jahan (r. 1628-1658). The Victoria and Albert Museum purchased it in 1896 from the widow of Major General John Clarke, an official who had been the Commissioner in Oudh province between 1858 and 1862.

Physical description

Painting, in opaque watercolour and gold on paper, depicts Akbar assisting in lifting a captured cheetah out of a pit. The image is overlaid by two captions of text, extending from the right-hand side of the page.

Place of Origin

Mughal Empire (made)

Date

ca. 1586 - ca. 1589 (made)

Artist/maker

Tulsi (artist, outline, maker)
Narayan (artist, painter, maker)

Materials and Techniques

Painted in opaque watercolour and gold on paper

Marks and inscriptions

Tarh Tulsi
Amal Narayan Composition by Tulsi
Work [=painting] by Narayan

Dimensions

Height: 33 cm picture only, Width: 20 cm picture only, Height: 38 cm page, Width: 24.3 cm page

Object history note

The Akbarnama, or "Book of Akbar", was commissioned by the emperor Akbar as the official chronicle of his reign. It was written by 1590 and 1596 and is thought to have been illustrated between ca. 1592 and 1594 by at least forty-nine different artists from Akbar's studio. After Akbar's death in 1605, the manuscript remained in the library of his son, Jahangir (r.1605-1627) and later Shah Jahan (r.1628-1658). The Victoria and Albert Museum purchased it in 1896 from Mrs. Frances Clarke, the widow of Major General John Clarke, an official who had been the Commissioner in Oudh province between 1858 and 1862.

Historical significance: It is thought to be the first illustrated copy of the Akbarnama. It drew upon the expertise of some of the best royal painters of the time, many of whom receive special mention by Abu'l Fazl in the A'in-i-Akbari, the third volume of the Akbarnama. The inscriptions in red ink on the bottom of the paintings refer to the artists and indicate that this was a royal copy.

Descriptive line

Painting, Akbarnama, Akbar assists in capturing a cheetah, outline by Tulsi, painting by Narain, Mughal, ca. 1586-1589

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

Susan Stronge, Painting for the Mughal Emperor. The Art of the Book 1560-1650, V&a Publications, 2002, pl. 39, p. 59. Sen, Geeti. Akbar Nama. Lustre Press, page 48.

Associated names

Fazl, Abu'l

Production Note

Composition by Tulsi, colours and details painted by Narayan.
Attribution place is likely to be Delhi, Agra or Fatehpur Sikri.

Materials

Paper; Paint; Gold; Opaque watercolour

Techniques

Drawing; Painted

Subjects depicted

Hunting; Akbar; Cheetah

Categories

Royalty; Illustration; Paintings; Animals and Wildlife; Bonita Trust Indian Paintings Cataloguing Project

Collection code

SSEA

Download image
Qr_O9248
Ajax-loader