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Hunting with falcons in a landscape; Verso: Calligraphy of Chaghatai Turkish poems in praise of wine, Sultan Muhammad Nur (Persian, c. 1472–1536) and Mirza Muhammad (probably Persian, active c. 1520s)

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December 31, 1557
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Akbar 1556–1605

Hunting with falcons in a landscape; Verso: Calligraphy of Chaghatai Turkish poems in praise of wine, Sultan Muhammad Nur (Persian, c. 1472–1536) and Mirza Muhammad (probably Persian, active c. 1520s)

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DESCRIPTION

Hunting with falcons in a landscape; Verso: Calligraphy of Chaghatai Turkish poems in praise of wine, Sultan Muhammad Nur (Persian, c. 1472–1536) and Mirza Muhammad (probably Persian, active c. 1520s) c. 1558–60; borders added probably 1700s Part of a set. See all set records attributed to Abd al-Samad (Persian, c. 1510–1600) India, Mughal, 16th century Opaque watercolor on paper (recto); ink on paper (verso) Page: 35.7 x 24.3 cm (14 1/16 x 9 9/16 in.); Painting: 21.5 x 13 cm (8 7/16 x 5 1/8 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 2013.292 DID YOU KNOW? The hunter’s glove is on the ground, as he pulls his falcon off the duck. DESCRIPTION The Mughals hunted on horseback with falcons. The hunting party would ride out into the wild and flush the prey. Then, its hood removed, the falcon would chase the prey and bring it down. From childhood Akbar loved hunting, and this painting may be a rare depiction of Akbar as a youth at the lower left, with the black feather in his white turban. The falcon that has caught a duck has been hooded and is being passed between the young man and his bearded companion. This important work was painted by one of the Persian artists Akbar’s father brought to India from Iran. The inscription at the upper right gives the name of one of the other Persian artists, but it is probably an erroneous later addition. This page of delicately illuminated calligraphy from the pre-Mughal period was mounted into a Mughal album. The poems are written in the native language of the Mughals, a form of Turkish called Chaghatai, using a flowing form of Arabic script called nasta‘liq. The Mughals self-consciously adopted Persian as their official court language, so few Chaghatai books or works of calligraphy were made for them. The quatrain in the center reads: The wine has made an attempt on my life, Since it is the wine that can wear down the pain of separation. O Sufi! Let the mosque be for you, and the tavern for me, Since you need to arrive at the Spring of Kowsar, while I am in need of wine! The Spring of Kowsar is where the righteous quench their thirst in the afterlife. INSCRIPTION Recto: Inscription in upper right in nasta‘liq script, probably during the 1700s: the work of Mir Sayyid Ali, the illustrator; INSCRIPTION Verso: Persian inscription in central small rectangular panel below, in nasta‘liq script: Copied by Mirza Muhammad INSCRIPTION Verso: Chaghatai quatrain in center, in nasta‘liq script: The wine has made an attempt on my life,/ Since it is the wine that can wear down the pain of separation./ O Sufi! Let the mosque be for you, and the tavern for me,/ Since you need to arrive at the Spring of Kowsar, while I am in need of wine! INSCRIPTION Verso: Persian signature in lower left triangular panel: The humble Sultan Muhammad Nur INSCRIPTION Verso: Chaghatai verses in margins, in nasta‘liq script: Since many obscurities have become clear to you,/ So make it clear that you can put up with my secret pain./ Compassion is the cure for my wounds/ O beloved! O darling! O beauty! PROVENANCE Collection of E. E. Meugens [1875–1929], Calcutta and England ?-1969 By descent to J. R. Meugens 1 July 1969 (Sotheby’s, London, Important Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures, 1 July 1969, lot 80, sold to Ralph Benkaim) 1969-2013 Ralph Benkaim [1914-2001] and Catherine Glynn Benkaim [b. 1946], Beverly Hills, CA, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art 2013- The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH PROVENANCE CITATIONS Wilson, Arnold Talbot. Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Persian Art; Partrons: His Majesty the King, His Majesty Rizā Shāh Pahlavi. 7th January to 28th February, 1931, Royal Academy of Arts, London. London: Office of the Exhibition [Printed by Gee & Co.], 1931. Mentioned: p. 250, no. 631 CITATIONS Royal Academy of Arts (Great Britain), and Arnold Talbot Wilson. Persian art: an illustrated souvenir of the exhibition of Persian art at Burlington house, London, 1931. [London]: Printed for the Executive Committee of the exhibition by Hudson & Kearns Ltd, 1931. Mentioned: cat. no. 631 Wilson, Arnold Talbot. Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Persian Art; Partrons: His Majesty the King, His Majesty Rizā Shāh Pahlavi. 7th January to 28th February, 1931, Royal Academy of Arts, London. London: Office of the Exhibition [Printed by Gee & Co.], 1931. Mentioned: p. 250, no. 631 Welch, Stuart Cary, and Mark Zebrowski. A Flower from Every Meadow: Indian Paintings from American Collections. New York: Asia Society; distributed by New York Graphic Society, 1973. Mentioned and Reproduced: cat. no. 57, pp. 97-98 Brand, Michael, and Glenn D. Lowry. Akbar's India: Art from the Mughal City of Victory. New York: Asia Society Galleries, 1985. Mentioned: cat. no. 69, p. 153; Reproduced: p. 105 Beach, Milo Cleveland, Eberhard Fischer, B. N. Goswamy, and Jorrit Britschgi. Masters of Indian Painting. Zurich, Switzerland: Artibus Asiae Publishers, 2011. Reproduced: p. 109, fig. 11 Mace, Sonya Rhie, Mohsen Ashtiany, Catherine Glynn, Pedro Moura Carvalho, Marcus Fraser, and Ruby Lal. Mughal Paintings: Art and Stories: the Cleveland Museum of Art. London: D Giles Limited, 2016. Mentioned and Reproduced: cat. no. 3, pp. 158, 160 EXHIBITION HISTORY The International Exhibition of Persian Art. Burlington House, London, UK (January 7-March 7, 1931). A Flower From Every Meadow. Asia House Gallery, New York, NY; Center for Asian Art and Culture, San Francisco, CA; Albright-Know Gallery of Art, Buffalo, New York, NY (1973). Akbar's India: Art from the Mughal City of Victory. Asia Society, New York, NY (October 10, 1985-January 5, 1986); Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, MA (January 24-March 16, 1986); Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX (April 19-June 15, 1986). Masters of Indian Painting. Museum Rietberg, Zürich, Switzerland (organizer) (April 30-August 21, 2011); The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY (September 26, 2011-January 18, 2012). Art and Stories from Mughal India. The Cleveland Museum of Art (organizer) (July 31-October 23, 2016).

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Ismail Mazari

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Very good information.

MUGHAL IMAGES

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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