The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of July 13, 2024

Hunting with falcons in a landscape; Verso: Calligraphy of Chaghatai Turkish poems in praise of wine, Sultan Muhammad Nur (Persian, c. 1472–1536) and Mirza Muhammad (probably Persian, active c. 1520s)

Hunting with falcons in a landscape; Verso: Calligraphy of Chaghatai Turkish poems in praise of wine, Sultan Muhammad Nur (Persian, c. 1472–1536) and Mirza Muhammad (probably Persian, active c. 1520s)

c. 1558–60; borders added probably 1700s
Location: not on view

Did You Know?

The hunter’s glove is on the ground, as he pulls his falcon off the duck.

Description

The Mughals hunted on horseback with falcons. The hunting party would ride out into the wild and flush the prey. Then, its hood removed, the falcon would chase the prey and bring it down. From childhood Akbar loved hunting, and this painting may be a rare depiction of Akbar as a youth at the lower left, with the black feather in his white turban. The falcon that has caught a duck has been hooded and is being passed between the young man and his bearded companion. This important work was painted by one of the Persian artists Akbar’s father brought to India from Iran. The inscription at the upper right gives the name of one of the other Persian artists, but it is probably an erroneous later addition.

This page of delicately illuminated calligraphy from the pre-Mughal period was mounted into a Mughal album. The poems are written in the native language of the Mughals, a form of Turkish called Chaghatai, using a flowing form of Arabic script called nasta‘liq. The Mughals self-consciously adopted Persian as their official court language, so few Chaghatai books or works of calligraphy were made for them. The quatrain in the center reads: The wine has made an attempt on my life, Since it is the wine that can wear down the pain of separation. O Sufi! Let the mosque be for you, and the tavern for me, Since you need to arrive at the Spring of Kowsar, while I am in need of wine! The Spring of Kowsar is where the righteous quench their thirst in the afterlife.
  • ?–1929
    E. E. [Edward Earle] Meugens [1875–1929], Calcutta and England, by descent to J. R. Meugens
    1929–1969
    J. R. Meugens
    1 July 1969
    (Sotheby’s, London, Important Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures, 1 July 1969, lot 80, sold to Ralph Benkaim)
    1969–2013
    Ralph Benkaim [1914–2001] and Catherine Glynn Benkaim [b. 1946], Beverly Hills, CA, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art
    2013–
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
    Provenance Footnotes
    1 Starting in July 1902, E. E. [Edward Earle] Meugens [1875–1929] worked for Messers. Meugens, King, and Simpson, Chartered Accounts, an accounting firm in Calcutta that had been founded in 1880 by his father, Marc Meugens, an Englishman of Belgian descent. E.E. Meugens returned to England in 1916 but retained a share in the company.
  • Royal Academy of Arts (Great Britain), and Arnold Talbot Wilson. Persian art: an illustrated souvenir of the exhibition of Persian art at Burlington house, London, 1931. [London]: Printed for the Executive Committee of the exhibition by Hudson & Kearns Ltd, 1931. Mentioned: cat. no. 631
    Wilson, Arnold Talbot. Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Persian Art; Partrons: His Majesty the King, His Majesty Rizā Shāh Pahlavi. 7th January to 28th February, 1931, Royal Academy of Arts, London. London: Office of the Exhibition [Printed by Gee & Co.], 1931. Mentioned: p. 250, no. 631
    Wilson, Arnold Talbot. Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Persian Art; Partrons: His Majesty the King, His Majesty Rizā Shāh Pahlavi. 7th January to 28th February, 1931, Royal Academy of Arts, London. London: Office of the Exhibition [Printed by Gee & Co.], 1931. Mentioned: p. 250, no. 631
    Welch, Stuart Cary, and Mark Zebrowski. A Flower from Every Meadow: Indian Paintings from American Collections. New York: Asia Society; distributed by New York Graphic Society, 1973. Mentioned and Reproduced: cat. no. 57, pp. 97-98
    Brand, Michael, and Glenn D. Lowry. Akbar's India: Art from the Mughal City of Victory. New York: Asia Society Galleries, 1985. Mentioned: cat. no. 69, p. 153; Reproduced: p. 105
    Datta, Rathin. The Legacy Continues... A history of Price Waterhouse, Lovelock & Lewes and PricewaterhouseCoopers Pvt. Ltd. in India. Kolkata, India: Nandini Chatterjee of PricewaterhouseCoopers Pvt. Ltd, [no pub. date]. Mentioned: p. 11 www.pwc.in
    Beach, Milo Cleveland, Eberhard Fischer, B. N. Goswamy, and Jorrit Britschgi. Masters of Indian Painting. Zurich, Switzerland: Artibus Asiae Publishers, 2011. Reproduced: p. 109, fig. 11
    Mace, Sonya Rhie, Mohsen Ashtiany, Catherine Glynn, Pedro Moura Carvalho, Marcus Fraser, and Ruby Lal. Mughal Paintings: Art and Stories: the Cleveland Museum of Art. London: D Giles Limited, 2016. Mentioned and Reproduced: cat. no. 3, pp. 158, 160
    Bubbar, Prahlad. Immaculate Conception: Desire and the Creative Impulse 300BC-1930. London: Prahlad Bubbar Ltd, 2017. Mentioned and reproduced: pp. 94–95
  • Art and Stories from Mughal India. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (July 31-October 23, 2016).
    Masters of Indian Painting. Museum Rietberg, Zürich, Switzerland (organizer) (April 30-August 21, 2011); The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY (September 26, 2011-January 18, 2012).
    Akbar's India: Art from the Mughal City of Victory. Asia Society, New York, NY (October 10, 1985-January 5, 1986); Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, MA (January 24-March 16, 1986); Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX (April 19-June 15, 1986).
    A Flower From Every Meadow. Asia House Gallery, New York, NY; Center for Asian Art and Culture, San Francisco, CA; Albright-Know Gallery of Art, Buffalo, New York, NY (1973).
    The International Exhibition of Persian Art. Burlington House, London, UK (January 7-March 7, 1931).
  • {{cite web|title=Hunting with falcons in a landscape; Verso: Calligraphy of Chaghatai Turkish poems in praise of wine, Sultan Muhammad Nur (Persian, c. 1472–1536) and Mirza Muhammad (probably Persian, active c. 1520s)|url=false|author=Abd al-Samad|year=c. 1558–60; borders added probably 1700s|access-date=13 July 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

Source URL:

https://www.clevelandart.org/art/2013.292