302
302

PROPERTY FROM THE LANIER COLLECTION

TWO BULLS LOCKED IN COMBAT
Estimate
8,00012,000
JUMP TO LOT
302

PROPERTY FROM THE LANIER COLLECTION

TWO BULLS LOCKED IN COMBAT
Estimate
8,00012,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Works of Art Including Property from The Cleveland Museum of Art

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New York

TWO BULLS LOCKED IN COMBAT
Opaque watercolor heightened with gold on paper
image: 4 1/4 by 7 3/4 in. (10 by 17.8 cm)
folio: 7 by 10 3/4 in. (17.7 by 25.4 cm)
India, Imperial Mughal, circa late 1800
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Provenance

Husain Gallery London 
Acquired 1988

Catalogue Note

A dramatic moment is captured powerfully as two large bulls intensely clash and lock horns - their determination to be victorious is palpable in this highly modeled, naturalistic study of animal combat. The rear flanks of the two combatants raised to provided maximum momentum for their charging heads - ringed horns emerging from their curling hair.  On a green verdigris ground, the combat silhouetted in browns against a buff background and so realistically rendered that we can feel the crushing weight of the animals and the energy expended - like two gladiators primed for combat - we can almost hear them thunder and snort.

Gold gray black and white ruled lines. 

A painted ink drawing in nim qalam of two buffaloes in combat attributed to the Akbar Period Mughal artist Miskin (active 1570-1604) and presently in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York (accession. no. 1983-258) depicts a similar combat - depicted there in the presence of excited handlers.  The Mughal preference for naturalism, already so visible in the works of Miskin and other painters from the royal atelier, depict events at court and entertainments such as animal combats, which were frequently held by the Emperor.  

In our present painting the context for the battle is left open to our imagination - was this a staged combat for the Emperor's entertainment like the Miskin buffalo fight or a clash that was observed in the wild - a battle for supremacy in the herd?  The painting set within dark blue outer borders, with raised gold and light blue scrolling foliate designs. 

For related Mughal depictions of a water buffalo, see Sotheby's New York, March 16 1988, lot 346, and  Sotheby's London, June 20 1983, lot 143. For another related work, see S. C. Welch, India Art and Culture: 1300-1900, New York, 1985, p. 167, cat. 103.

Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Works of Art Including Property from The Cleveland Museum of Art

|
New York