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    Sale 7571

    Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds

    8 April 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 257


    MUGHAL, CIRCA 1610

    Price Realised  


    MUGHAL, CIRCA 1610
    Gouache heightened with gold on paper, Noah, his family and a number of servants sit aboard the ark amongst a number of animals including elephants, leopards and gazelles, around them swim fish and mythological beasts in some cases attacking humans, laid down between pink, blue and green margins, with gold and polychrome rules, some worm holing and flaking of paint, mounted, glazed and framed
    11 1/8 x 6¾in. (29.6 x 17.1cm.)

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    A verse of the Qur'an is devoted to Noah, and he features also in other texts such as the Diwan of Hafiz. Another miniature depicting Noah's ark, in the Freer Gallery, is attributed to Miskin, one of Akbar's greatest artists (Stuart Cary Welch, Imperial Mughal Painting, London, 1978, plate 9, pp. 56-57). It has been suggested that this miniature in fact comes from an otherwise lost volume of Hafiz. The painting is also published in Milo Cleveland Beach, The Imperial Image (Washington D.C. 1981, no. 13, pp. 122-24), where the author notes another similar composition from the 1596 Anwar-i-Suhaili where a similar boat scene is also inscribed Miskin (Beach, op. cit., fig. 14, pp.123-24).

    Whilst the present example differs from these two in that there is no figure being thrown overboard (the figure of Iblis, the devil, whom according to Muslim tradition threatened Noah's ark), the treatment of the animals with a mixture of realism (such as the lion) and caricature (such as the crocodile) and the muted ground with various bright accents do bear similarity. There is not enough ground on which we can attribute the miniature to Miskin, but the miniatures do appear to be more-or-less contemporary.

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