AN EGYPTIAN VULTURE
AN EGYPTIAN VULTURE

COMPANY SCHOOL, LUCKNOW, NORTH INDIA, CIRCA 1790

Details
AN EGYPTIAN VULTURE
COMPANY SCHOOL, LUCKNOW, NORTH INDIA, CIRCA 1790
Transparent and opaque pigments on paper, with brown and white plumage, black wing feathers, partial yellow beak, clawed feet, poised on a rock
19 ¾ x 26 ½in. (50.2 x 67.3cm.)
Provenance
Early 19th century British collection, sold in these Rooms 1 April 1982, lot 35

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Behnaz Atighi Moghaddam
Behnaz Atighi Moghaddam Head of Sale

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Lot Essay

For another version of this illustration attributed to Lucknow and dated circa 1790, see Simon Ray, Indian and Islamic Works of Art, exhibition catalogue, London, 2012, no.66. Our vulture stands on a small jagged piece of rock whereas the former is on a small piece of ground with distinct diminutive shrubs. The receding ground and the shadows seen on both illustrations are thought to have been introduced into Lucknow painting by the artist Mihr Chand who was influenced by European ideas of rendering space and perspective. Company School illustrations of birds, often without any background or visual context were usually attributed to artists working in Calcutta at this time. The examples from Calcutta are further removed from Mughal influence, and show more of a concern with the rounded volumes of the bird's body. Although Mughal artists had worked for Lady Impey on the celebrated series of bird paintings executed for her in the 1770-80s, by the 1790s such artists had been taught the more scientific methods of natural history depiction introduced by such men as Dr William Roxburgh at the East India Company's botanical gardens at Sibpur, Calcutta.

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