Description Walters manuscript leaf W.865, this painting of a nilgai (also called a blue bull or Boselaphus tragocamelus), which is an antelope indigenous to Asia, is attributable to the reign of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (reigned 1037-1068 AH/AD 1627-1658). Such animal studies were popular commissions among the Mughal emperors, who showed a marked curiosity about the natural world in their royal histories. Patronage of paintings of flora, fauna, and animals received a particular impetus under the Mughal emperor Jahangir (reigned 1014-1037 AH/AD 1605-1627) and was continued under later Mughals. The detailed foliage in the foreground and the light green background are comparable to other studies of single animals dating to ca. 1049 AH/AD 1640.
Provenance John and Berthe Ford, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 2001, by gift.
Credit Gift of John and Berthe Ford, 2001
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