Folio from the Gulshan Album (Rose Garden album); recto: Elephant and trainer; verso: Quatrain in nasta’liq allegedly by Mir ‘Ali al-Katib

Maker(s)
Artist: Attributed to Farrukh Chela
Calligrapher: Calligraphy by Mir Ali al-Katib (died 1559-60 (AH 937))
Historical period(s)
Mughal dynasty, Reign of Akbar, Calligraphy ca.1540; "Chained Elephant" ca.1590, borders added ca. 1600
Movement
Mughal Court
School
Mughal School
Medium
Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 42.5 x 26.5 cm (16 3/4 x 10 7/16 in)
Geography
India
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1956.12
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Album, Painting
Type

Album leaf with painting

Keywords
elephant, illumination, India, landscape, Mughal dynasty (1526 - 1858), nasta'liq script, Reign of Akbar (1556 - 1605), WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

The Mughal emperor Jahangir (reigned 1605-27) was keenly interested in genre episodes and scenes rendered with naturalism. This painting of a mahout training his elephant was inserted into an album made for Jahangir and is attributed to the court artist Farrukh. The chained elephant, depicted in muted colors and in a linear style, would have appealed to the artistic taste of the emperor. Fantastic rock formations show the influence of Persian and Chinese traditions.

Published References
  • David J. Roxburgh. The Persian Album 1400-1600: From Dispersal to Collection. New Haven. fig. 172.
  • Freer Gallery of Art. The Freer Gallery of Art of the Smithsonian Institution., 11th printing. Washington. p. 12.
  • Milo Cleveland Beach. The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court. Exh. cat. Washington, 1981. cat. 16c, pp. 69,211,162-3.
  • Christianity in Asia: Sacred Art and Visual Splendour. Singapore. p. 77, fig. 6.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. The Brush of the Masters: Drawings from Iran and India. Exh. cat. Washington, 1978. cat. 64, pp. 108-109.
  • Milo Cleveland Beach. The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court., 2nd. Washington and Ahmedabad, India, 2012. cat. 20E, p. 109.
  • Encompassing the Globe: Portugal and the World in the 16th & 17th Centuries. Exh. cat. Washington, 2007. I-11, p. 239.
  • Richard Ettinghausen. Islamic Art and Archaeology: Collected Papers. Berlin. p. 672.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Worlds within Worlds: Imperial Paintings from India and Iran
Google Cultural Institute
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