Drawing thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Drawing

1618-1620 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The drawing of cranes in ink on paper may have been done by Mansur, one of the leading artists of the Mughal court in the early 17th century, during the reign of Jahangir (r. 1605-1627). The emperor's memoirs show him to have been keenly interested in all aspects of the natural world. He kept a pair of saras cranes for at least five years, studying them carefully and interspersing his account of the events of courtly life with details about the birds' nesting habits.

An 18th century copy of a lost 17th century painting of cranes by Mansur is in the V&A (IM.122A-1921), and its composition is close to this drawing. In other cases, where copies and the original work have survived, the signatures or attributions on the originals have been included in the copy. Mansur was given the title "Nadir al-asr", or Wonder of the Age, by Jahangir, and was renowned for his studies of birds, animals and flowers. Minor corrections may be seen in the drawing. For one of the birds, an alternative leg has been drawn and partly erased.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Ink on paper
Brief Description
Drawing, cranes, attributed to Mansur, ink on paper, Mughal, ca. 1618-1620
Physical Description
Brush drawing, ink on paper, depicting two Indian cranes.
Dimensions
  • Maximum height: 17.1cm
  • Maximum width: 10.3cm
Content description
Two Indian cranes.
Style
Credit line
Given by Major Denzil Macaulay
Object history
RF1925/6650
Production
Mughal empire
Subject depicted
Summary
The drawing of cranes in ink on paper may have been done by Mansur, one of the leading artists of the Mughal court in the early 17th century, during the reign of Jahangir (r. 1605-1627). The emperor's memoirs show him to have been keenly interested in all aspects of the natural world. He kept a pair of saras cranes for at least five years, studying them carefully and interspersing his account of the events of courtly life with details about the birds' nesting habits.



An 18th century copy of a lost 17th century painting of cranes by Mansur is in the V&A (IM.122A-1921), and its composition is close to this drawing. In other cases, where copies and the original work have survived, the signatures or attributions on the originals have been included in the copy. Mansur was given the title "Nadir al-asr", or Wonder of the Age, by Jahangir, and was renowned for his studies of birds, animals and flowers. Minor corrections may be seen in the drawing. For one of the birds, an alternative leg has been drawn and partly erased.
Associated Object
IM.122A-1921 (Object)
Bibliographic References
  • Jones, Mark (ed.), Fake? : The Art of Deception, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1990pp.227-9Asok Kumar Das. Wonders of Nature. Ustad Mansur at the Mughal Court. The Marg Foundation, Mumbai, 2012, fig. 41 and commentary on this and other cranes painted for Jahangir, pp 112-115
  • Susan Stronge, Painting for the Mughal emperor. The art of the book 1560-1650, V&A Publications, London, 2002, pl. 97, p. 132
Collection
Accession Number
IM.42-1925

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record createdMarch 23, 2006
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