Color on paper
Overall: 42.5 x 27.8 cm (16 3/4 x 10 15/16 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1990.67
This small crested bird is named after the sound of its call, “hoopoe,” an onomatopoeia.
Indian artists of the late 1700s and early 1800s painted images of native birds, plants, and animals for British collectors who mainly lived in the fortified enclave of Calcutta (now Kolkata), which then functioned as the center of British power in India. During this period, known as the Age of Enlightenment, natural history subjects were a fashion in art throughout the colonial British world, in response to the pervasive interest in scientific discovery.
This small crested bird is named after the sound of its call, “hoopoe,” an onomatopoeia. The dense, regular, and controlled brushwork that lends realistic texture to the plumage and claws reveals the artist’s training in Indian court traditions.
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