Preparations for a Hunt

Object Name: Illustrated album leaf

Date: ca. 1680

Geography: Attributed to India

Medium: Opaque watercolor on paper

Dimensions: H. 6 5/8 in. (16.8 cm)
W. 11 in. (27.9 cm)

Classification: Codices

Credit Line: Purchase, Friends of Islamic Art Gifts, 2005

Accession Number: 2005.235a


The painting depicts preparations for a royal hunt. A group of four nilgais, or blue bulls, are feeding in scrubland near a pond, while four imperial huntsmen dressed in green take shelter behind camouflage screens. In the far horizon, on the right, a distant hunting party approaches with elephants, horses, and flags. The reverse of the album page on which the painting was originally mounted had a European engraving depicting the story of Cain and Abel.