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
Currently not on view
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.