, Emperor Muhammad Shah hunting Enlarge 1 /1
Mughal dynasty (1526–1858) Emperor Muhammad Shah hunting c. 1720-25 Place made: Delhi, India
Creation Notes: Mughal dynasty
Materials & Technique: paintings, miniatures, opaque watercolour and gold Support: paper
Dimensions: folio 30.7 h x 43.8 w cm painting 26.8 h x 39.8 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1992
Accession No: NGA 92.1262
  • The supplied chain of ownership for this object is being reviewed and further research is underway. The provenance information listed has been substantiated by documentation. Details may be refined and updated as research progresses. (added 2016)
  • in a private collection, London, before 1913 (details to be confirmed)
  • in another private collection, London, 1920s (details to be confirmed)
  • in a third private collection (details to be confirmed)
  • with Berkeley Gallery, London, 1960s (details to be confirmed)
  • with a fourth private collector, England (details to be confirmed)
  • with art dealer, New York, 1992 or before
  • who sold it to the Australian National Gallery, Canberra, 1992

Dramatically divided by the zigzagging river, this painting shows five women hiding among the trees on one side and the Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah (1702–1748, ruled 1719–48) with members of his hunting party on the other. Their arrival has disturbed the women’s musical gathering. Muhammad Shah, with a blue horse, is hunting with falcons. Paintings from this period often illustrate events from daily life rather than imperial histories. Known as rangila, ‘the pleasure lover’, Muhammad Shah was a great patron of the arts.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2011
From: Asian gallery extended display label