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Title A tethered bull
Collection Artworld: Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
Date 1650-1675 CE
Description This painting is surrounded by a dark blue and flesh colour border, striped with lines of red, blue and white and flecked with gold. The bull stands out against a plain background which clearly shows evidence of correction around the horns, muzzle, tail and stomach. The black and pink-white bull is of the Brahminy type, as evidenced by the hump rising above its shoulders.
Description Source Lorna Hards
Cultural Context Indian
Id Number Current Accession 824
Location Creation Site Bharat, Northern India, Rajasthan
Location Current Repository Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
Subject visual work, painting, miniature
Measurements 206 x 154 x 1 mm
Context The Brahminy bull is sacred to Shiva and is often permitted to roam freely in bazaars of Indian cities, but this animal was perhaps kept in a royal establishment. The subject is not painted with the hard precision seen in animal portraits of the Emperor Jahangir's leading natural history painter, Ustad Mansur, and although in certain respects, such as the drawing of the tether, it recalls the work of Mansur's contemporary, Govardhan, it is possibly by an artist who had fallen under his influence and was working later in the century for a Rajput patron. The drawing of the head has been corrected by the painter, the shape of its horns altered and the position of the right ear changed. An inscription to the left of the rope above the peg has been erased.
Comparisons may be made between the present study and an early nineteenth century portrait of a sacred bull by a Mewar artist in the Cowasji Jehangir collection (Khandalavala and Chandra, 1965: no. 81). A caparisoned version of the same animal is in an American private collection (Welch, 1978: no. 63). These two later Rajput versions are also clearly based on Mughal-trained artist of the present piece has conveyed the tactile qualities of the animal's body and the subtle mixture of alertness and docility in its bearing.
Context Source Robert Skelton. In: Steven Hooper (ed.). 1997. Catalogue to the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection. University of East Anglia.
Rights Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, UEA, Norwich, 2002. All Rights reserved
Work Type painting



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