Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Black Stork in a Landscape

Object Name:
Illustrated single work
ca. 1780
Made in India, probably Lucknow
Opaque watercolor on European paper
Painting: H. 21 1/2 in. (54.6 cm) W. 29 3/4in. (75.6cm) Mat: H. 35 1/2 in. (90.2 cm) W. 27 in. (68.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Louis E. and Theresa S. Seley Purchase Fund for Islamic Art and Rogers Fund, 2000
Accession Number:
Not on view
The distinctive white neck feathers, purple-streaked wings, and red-tinged beak identify this tall bird as a woolly-necked stork (Ciconia episcopus), a native species of India known for its unusual plumage and height. The meandering watercourse on the right side of the composition could be a reference to the riverine areas in which such birds are typically found. A digit from the bird’s right foot rests upon its left, illustrating the artist’s close study of the standing position of these creatures. This work, like the image of the nightjar (2004.175)nearby, has been attributed to a set of 658 ornithological paintings commissioned by the French serviceman Claude Martin.
Claude Martin, Lucknow, India (until d. 1800); [ Terence McInerneyNew York, until 2000; sold to MMA]
"Company Paintings; the Brief Flowering of a British-Indian Hybrid." Connoisseur (October 1989). p. 174.

Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 59 (2000–2001). p. 16, ill. (color).

Related Objects

A Common Indian Nightjar (Caprimulgus asiaticus)

Date: ca. 1780 Medium: Opaque watercolor on paper Accession: 2004.175 On view in:Gallery 464

Prince and Ladies in a Garden

Date: mid-18th century Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper Accession: 2001.302 On view in:Gallery 463

A Gathering of Holy Men of Different Faiths

Artist: Mir Kalan Khan (active ca. 1730–75) Date: ca. 1770–75 Medium: Opaque watercolor and gold on paper Accession: 2009.318 On view in:Gallery 463

Fish-Shaped Box

Date: 19th century Medium: Zinc alloy; cast, engraved, inlaid with silver and brass (bidri ware) Accession: 19.135.15a, b On view in:Gallery 464

"Rosette Bearing the Names and Titles of Shah Jahan", Folio from the Shah Jahan Album

Date: recto: ca. 1645; verso: ca. 1630–40 Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper Accession: On view in:Gallery 450