A Gray heron

Historical period(s)
19th century
Company School
Watercolor on paper
H x W: 58 x 39.3 cm (22 13/16 x 15 1/2 in)
Credit Line
Bequest of Adrienne Minassian
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Album, Painting

Album leaf with painting

heron, India, WWII-era provenance
Provenance research underway.

For the British men and women who went to India, the study of natural history was both scientific inquiry and fashionable pastime. They trained local artists, often skilled court painters seeking new patronage, to record the country's flora and fauna with scientific precision.

The simple composition of the Gray heron watercolor encourages us to savor the wonderfully varied textures of glossy beak, soft feathers, and scaly legs. If the pencil inscription, which misspells the species name Ardea cinera, indicates that the painting was commissioned by an amateur enthusiast of natural history, the gracefully rendered image attests to the collaboration between a discriminating patron and a gifted artist.

Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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