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Not currently on display at the V&A

Painting

ca. 1620
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Mansur had begun his illustrious career during Akbar’s reign (1556-1605). His work is found in some of the pages of the V&A's Akbarnama. He continued to work in the royal library under Jahangir (r. 1605-1627), and was with other artists who accompanied the emperor in his frequent travels across the empire. Jahangir gave him the title Nadir al-‘Asr, or Wonder of the Age. Only he and one other artist, Abu'l Hasan, are recorded as having been honoured in this way. Mansur was particularly famous for his studies of birds, animals and flowers.

The Cheer Pheasant (catreus wallichii) may have been seen by the artist in Kashmir, a province which Jahangir loved and frequently visited, especially in the last years of his reign. The borders of densely arranged gold flowering plants on indigo-dyed paper probably also date to the reign of Jahangir.
Another closely similar version of the painting is in the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum in Jaipur (AG 834).


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Opaque watercolour and gold on paper
Brief Description
Painting, Himalayan Cheer Pheasant, by Mansur, opaque watercolour and gold on paper. Mughal, ca. 1620
Physical Description
Painting, in opaque watercolour, watercolour wash and gold on paper, depicting a Himalayan Cheer Pheasant perched in a natural landscape; ascribed to Mansur. Indigo dyed borders filled with flowering plants in gold.
Content description
A Himalayan Cheer Pheasant perched in a natural landscape.
Styles
Marks and Inscriptions
amal-e Ustad Mansur (this is an attribution, not a signature)
Gallery Label
A HIMALAYAN CHEER PHEASANT Opaque watercolour and gold on paper Mughal, ascribed to Mansur c. 1620 IM.136-1921 Mansur is famous for his studies of birds, animals and flowers. He began his illustrious career during Akbar’s reign and continued to work in the royal library for Jahangir. He and other artists accompanied Jahangir on his frequent travels across the empire. The emperor gave him the title Nadir al-’Asr, or ‘Wonder of the Age’.(27/9/2013)
Credit line
Bequeathed by Lady Wantage
Object history
Bequeathed by Lady Wantage.
Subjects depicted
Summary
Mansur had begun his illustrious career during Akbar’s reign (1556-1605). His work is found in some of the pages of the V&A's Akbarnama. He continued to work in the royal library under Jahangir (r. 1605-1627), and was with other artists who accompanied the emperor in his frequent travels across the empire. Jahangir gave him the title Nadir al-‘Asr, or Wonder of the Age. Only he and one other artist, Abu'l Hasan, are recorded as having been honoured in this way. Mansur was particularly famous for his studies of birds, animals and flowers.



The Cheer Pheasant (catreus wallichii) may have been seen by the artist in Kashmir, a province which Jahangir loved and frequently visited, especially in the last years of his reign. The borders of densely arranged gold flowering plants on indigo-dyed paper probably also date to the reign of Jahangir.

Another closely similar version of the painting is in the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum in Jaipur (AG 834).
Bibliographic References
  • M. A. Alvi and A. Rahman, Jahangir - the naturalist, New Delhi: The National Institute of Sciences of India, 1968, plate XIV Asok Kumar Das, Wonders of Nature. Ustad Mansur at the Mughal Court, The Marg Foundation, Mumbai, 2012, pp. 122-3 and figure V.51.
  • In the image of man : the Indian perception of the universe through 2000 years of painting and sculpture : [exhibition / organized by Catherine Lampert assisted by Rosalie Cass]. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson :in association with the Arts Council of Great Britain, 1982 Number: 0297780719, 0297781243 (pbk.)p. 107, cat. no. 48
  • Clarke, C. Stanley; Indian Drawings: Thirty Mogul Paintings of the School of Jehangir and Four Panels of Calligraphy ini the Wantage Bequest. London 1922No. 24, pl. 16
Collection
Accession Number
IM.136-1921

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record createdJuly 15, 2005
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