Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Ashmolean − Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros malabaricus)

  • loan
  • Description

    This large, mainly fruit-eating Hornbill is found in forests in India and Nepal. In this early commission for Lady Impey, Shaikh Zain ud-Din depicts the bird perched on a tree stump entwined by a flowering creeper, in the manner of European natural history illustrations that he may have seen in the Impeys’ library, such as the Histoire naturelle (1749-1788) of the Comte de Buffon. Unusually he also includes a shadow effect in the foreground as a gesture to occidental naturalism. An inscription describes Zain ud-Din as ‘Native of Patna’, a major centre in Bihar where he may have previously worked.

  • Details

    Associated place
    AsiaIndiaeast IndiaWest Bengal Kolkata (place of creation)
    EuropeUnited Kingdom England (place of creation)
    Shaikh Zain ud-Din (active c. 1770 - 1785) (artist)
    Whatman (established 1740) (manufacturer)
    Associated people
    Mary, Lady Impey (1749 - 1818) (commissioner)
    Material and technique
    gouache on paper
    mount 112 x 81.5 cm (height x width)
    page 85.5 x 59.8 cm (height x width)
    Material index
    Technique index
    Object type index
    No. of items
    Credit line
    Lent by the Radcliffe Science Library, University of Oxford.
    Accession no.

Past Exhibition

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    • currently in research collection

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