India: 19th or 20th century. Painting on manuscript leaf (ca. 270 x 160 mm), hinged on plexiglas so that the verso is visible, matted (matte size: 367 x 250 mm, some spotting on the matte). Manuscript leaf with some damage outside painted area; a very attractive ornithological painting. Good. Item #4018
A delicate Indian painting of a Western Yellow Wagtail, likely made for the tourist trade, painted on a manuscript leaf that has nothing to do with the images. The Arabic text above the painting is an excerpt from a commentary on Mūjiz al-Qānūn by Ibn Nafis. The bird and the decorative yellow "cloudbands" that appear between the lines of text were added later. The text on the verso is unidentified, but judging from the red overlining we are inclined to believe it is a commentary.
In our Western Yellow Wagtail we admire the extremely naturalistic color and fine modelling of the feathers, as well as the restrained depiction of the tree branch and leaves. Suitable for exhibition and study.
We are grateful to Kelley Tuttle for her characteristically excellent cataloguing assistance.