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A Mounted Prince Hunting Lion in a Rocky Landscape

June 30, 1556
Animals and Plants
Akbar 1556–1605

A Mounted Prince Hunting Lion in a Rocky Landscape



A Mounted Prince Hunting Lion in a Rocky Landscape c. 1600 Khem Karan (Indian) Mughal India Opaque watercolor on paper Page: 33 x 22.2 cm (13 x 8 3/4 in.) Gift in honor of Madeline Neves Clapp; Gift of Mrs. Henry White Cannon by exchange; Bequest of Louise T. Cooper; Leonard C. Hanna Jr. Fund; From the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection 2013.310 DESCRIPTION A Mughal prince encounters a lion in the wilderness and, maintaining his composure, dispatches it with a single blow of his sword. Equally fearless, his horse lunges toward the wild animal, one foreleg turning in to counter the force of the blow. This image recalls the feats of a Persian epic hero. This drawing may have been a study for a full-color composition. The areas of white around the key figures indicate that the artist was working out the ideal positioning of features and elements. The prince is calm and confident, in contrast to the anxious expression on the face of his attendant. The lion hunt is an ancient kingship display of courage and power, especially in Iran and the Near East-areas to which the Mughals trace their cultural roots. As though by contrast in the background, a shepherd tends sheep in the peace and safety assured by the brave prince. INSCRIPTION signed at lower right Khemkaran "Art of the Indian Subcontinent from Los Angeles Collections," University of California Los Angeles (1968) "Indian Drawing," Hayward Gallery, London; Wolverhampton Art Gallery; Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry; Bolton Museum and Art Gallery; Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield (1983). Main Asian Rotation (Gallery 245); July 2, 2014 - January 5, 2015. The Cleveland Museum of Art (7/31/2016-10/23/2016); Art and Stories from Mughal India, cat. 30, p. 210. Art and Stories from Mughal India. The Cleveland Museum of Art (organizer) (July 31-October 23, 2016).

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The Mughal Images immediately took a much greater interest in realistic portraiture than was typical of Persian miniatures. Animals and plants were the main subject of many miniatures for albums and were more realistically depicted. To upload your images click here.

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