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

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Sulphur-crested cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) on a custard apple branch (Annona reticulata)

  • loan
  • Description

    The sulphur-crested cockatoo is not an Indian bird but an exotic import from Australia or New Guinea, perhaps brought to Calcutta by mariners or traders and acquired by Lady Impey as a pet. Shaikh Zain-ud Din’s careful study shows it perching on a branch of a custard-apple tree (annona reticulata), another import originally native to the West Indies. As in his other early studies of 1777 such as the Indian Pied Hornbill [LI901.7], Zain ud-Din already shows great assurance in adapting his technique to this unfamiliar large format. His artful pairing of the bird with a fruiting branch again follows the example of European scientific illustrations which he was probably shown by Lady Impey.

  • 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 81.5 x 112 cm (height x width)
    page 61.5 x 86 cm (height x width)
    Material index
    Technique index
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    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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