This Persian painting depicts a hunter astride a majestic horse, turning backwards after having shot an arrow into the mouth of a lion which has lunged toward him.
A Hunter on Horseback by Muzaffar 'Ali, 1540
© British Museum
- Gouache & gold on paper
- Art Fund grant:
- £15,000 ( Total: £50,100; Tax remission)
- Acquired in:
- Sir Howard Hodgkin
Despite the effaced turban baton (kula) and visage of the figure, the intricate arabesque of his saddle, saddle cloth, and robe indicate a high level of workmanship consistent with that of the court atelier of the Safavid Shah,Tahmasp (reigned 1524-76). The combination of minute perfection of detail, and freedom of palette and expression in the paintings of this period was not subsequently surpassed in Persian painting. In technique, the Hunter on Horseback is typical of works produced for inclusion in deluxe picture albums compiled for the nobility of Safavid Iran.