"Red-Headed Vulture and Long-Billed Vulture", Folio from the Shah Jahan Album
Painting by Mansur (active ca. 1589–1626)
Mir 'Ali Haravi (d. ca. 1550)
verso: ca. 1615–20; recto: ca. 1535–45
Attributed to India
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
H. 15 3/8 in. (39.1 cm)
W. 10 1/16 in. (25.6 cm)_
Purchase, Rogers Fund and The Kevorkian Foundation Gift, 1955
Not on view
The artist Mansur became such a master in painting flora and fauna that he received the title nadir al-'asr, "rare one of the age." Ornithologically accurate, the vultures as revealed by the brush of Mansur are far more than avian specimens. His masterful hand is evident in the subtle gradations of sooty hues and pearly beige and gray shades of the feathers. The sketchy rock suggestive of ground plane and the linear outline of the half-toned rock are not an actual habitat but a plausible setting out of the artist’s imagination.
Signature: 188.8.131.52 verso: In Persian, in nasta'liq, on lower part of tree stump: Work of the servant of the palace Mansur Nadir al-Asr.
184.108.40.206 recto: In Persian under main calligraphy: The poor, the sinner, 'Ali the royal scribe.
Inscription: 220.127.116.11 verso: In Persian, in nasta'liq, on upper part of tree stump: Jahangir-shahi.
Marking: 18.104.22.168 verso: Margin number '39' is inscribed in the gilt margin.
Jack S. Rofe, Scotland (in 1929; sale, Sotheby's London,December 12, 1929, to Kevorkian); [ Hagop Kevorkian, New York, from 1929]; [ Kevorkian Foundation, New York, until 1955; gift and sale to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Indian Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," January 18, 1973–April 1, 1973, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Emperor's Album: Images of Mughal India," October 21, 1987–February 14, 1988, nos. 45 and 46.
Mexico City. Colegio de San Ildefonso. "Arte islamico del Museo Metropolitano de Arte de Nueva York," September 30, 1994–January 8, 1995, no. 25.
Swietochowski, Marie, and Richard Ettinghausen. "Islamic Painting." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., vol. 36, no. 2 (Autumn 1978). pp. 40-41, ill. p. 41 (b/w).
Welch, Stuart Cary, Annemarie Schimmel, Marie Lukens Swietochowski, and Wheeler M. Thackston. The Emperors' Album: Images of Mughal India. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. no. nos. 45, 46, pp. 173, 175-177, ill., verso pl. 45 (color); recto pl. 46 (b/w).
Okada, Amina. Imperial Mughal Painters: Indian Miniatures from the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Paris: Flammarion, 1992. p. 219, ill. fig. 258 (b/w), verso.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Daniel S. Walker, Arturo Ponce Guadián, Sussan Babaie, Stefano Carboni, Aimee Froom, Marie Lukens Swietochowski, Tomoko Masuya, Annie Christine Daskalakis-Matthews, Abdallah Kahil, and Rochelle Kessler. "Colegio de San Ildefonso, Septiembre de 1994-Enero de 1995." In Arte Islámico del Museo Metropolitano de Arte de Nueva York. Mexico City: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 1994. no. 25, pp. 94-95, ill. p. 95 (b/w).
Ekhtiar, Maryam, and Claire Moore, ed. "A Resource for Educators." In Art of the Islamic World. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. pp. 160-161, ill. pl. 32 (color).