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  • Place of origin:

    Mughal Empire (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1620

  • Artist/Maker:

    Mansur (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Opaque watercolour and gold on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Lady Wantage

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

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 Himalayan Cheer Pheasant 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.

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.

Place of Origin

Mughal Empire (made)


ca. 1620


Mansur (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Opaque watercolour and gold on paper

Marks and inscriptions

amal-e Ustad Mansur
work of [the] Master Mansur
this is an attribution, not a signature

Object history note

Bequeathed by Lady Wantage.

Descriptive line

Painting, Himalayan Cheer Pheasant, by Mansur, opaque watercolour and gold on paper. Mughal, ca. 1620

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

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.

p. 107, cat. no. 48
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.)
No. 24, pl. 16
Clarke, C. Stanley; Indian Drawings: Thirty Mogul Paintings of the School of Jehangir and Four Panels of Calligraphy ini the Wantage Bequest. London 1922

Labels and date

Opaque watercolour and gold on paper
Mughal, ascribed to Mansur
c. 1620

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]


Opaque watercolour; Paper; Gold; Material



Subjects depicted

Pheasant; Landscape


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


South & South East Asia Collection

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