Our painting marks the discovery of a rare early work executed in a proto-Mughal style from the reign of Humayun (r. 1531-40 and 1555-56) likely painted either during the Emperor's exile at Kabul (prior to his final return to India) or just after that in Delhi circa 1555. It is a remarkable addition to the very small corpus of paintings extant from that period.
The manner of costume and figure depictions with cone-shaped turban styles are distinctive to the reign of Humayun. The nim qalam (partly-painted) stylized rock formations tinged with mauve, lapis arabesques, shapes and colors of the tree blossoms at the upper left as well as the monochromatic natural buff background - all suggest a date in the Mid Sixteenth Century. Our painting shows influences from the Bukhara school. Some repainting as has been noted as in other works known from this period, see John Seyller "Recycled Images: Overpainting in Early Mughal Art," in Sheila Canby (ed.), Humayun's Garden Party: Princes of the House of Timur and Early Mughal Painting, Mumbai, 1994, pp.69-76. Applied onto a trimmed later backing with yellow and red outer ruled lines.
For an interesting comparison see 'Prince Akbar and Noblemen Hawking' attributed to the artist 'Abd al-Samad circa 1555-58, lent by the Ralph and Cathy Benkaim Collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art Exhibition "Master Painters of India, 1100-1900." This work depicts a young Prince Akbar and was probably executed a few years after our own painting - it does share many characteristics like the nim qalam treatment of mauve-tinged boulders and rock formations (possibly from the same hand as the landscape in our painting) with contrasting orange-vermilion flourishes as well as the general preference for the subject of hunting.
Several paintings from the Fitzwilliam Album in the Collection of the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge offer insight into the development of early Mughal painting - from its origins in Persia (Bukhara) through the reign of Humayun to the beginning of the Akbar period, see M. C. Beach, Early Mughal Painting, New York, 1987, pp. 17-49.
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale