Indian and Himalayan Art
Crimson Horned Pheasant (Satyr Tragapan)Made in West Bengal, India, Asia
or made in Patna, Bihar, India, Asia
Artist/maker unknown, India
Watercolor on paper
1984-82-1Gift of William P. Wood in memory of Mia Wood, 1984
LabelThis image was painted by an Indian artist for a British patron. The precise manner in which the splendidly patterned pheasant is depicted parallels a tradition of descriptive painting that had been practiced at many royal courts in India since the sixteenth century. For eighteenth-century British collectors, such exact depictions of birds and other animals provided a means to catalog and analyze a foreign and unknown land. The Crimson Horned Pheasant, for example, is found exclusively in the Himalayas and therefore must have been a rare and curious sight to one more accustomed to European fauna.
* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.