An illustration from a series on divination and omens (Falnamah): the figure of Saturn, India, Mughal, circa 1580
- gouache on cloth
- painting: 26.8 by 19.1cm.
leaf: 35 by 21.7cm
The figure of Saturn appears in the Falnamah either individually or as part of a celestial sphere, accompanied by other planets and signs of the zodiac. Massumeh Farhad notes that the iconography of Saturn, the most negative of the seven planets in the Falnamah, ultimately derives from Indian visual sources (see M. Farhad with S. Bagci, Falnama, The Book of Omens, Washington D.C., 2009, p.177), as clearly seen here in this Mughal Indian example, with the multi-armed figure holding a variety of symbols familiar from Indian imagery. For a closely related figure of Saturn in a Safavid copy of the Falnamah, see ibid., p.251, fig.9.4.
Other illustrations from this series have appeared at Sotheby's London, 22 April 2015, lot 143; 8 October 2014, lot 204; Colnaghi, Paintings from Mughal India, 1979, nos.1-4; Sotheby's London, 17 June 1999, lot 3; 26 April 1995, lot 137; and Christie's London, 24 April 1980, lot 49. For an essay and further examples see Falk and Digby 1979, pp.13-19.