Lot 322. A hobbled stallion, attributable to Govardhan, Mughal India, circa 1600-1610. Ink, opaque pigments and gold on paper, mounted on blue 18th century album leaf, verso with nasta’liq quatrain mounted on pink leaf. Painting 4 x 4 3/8 ins. (10 x 11.2 cm.); folio 13 7/8 x 8 5/8 ins. (35.2 x 22.1 cm.). Estimate USD 30,000 - USD 40,000. Price realised USD 43,750. © Christie's Images Ltd 2019
Provenance: Collection of Mrs Lucy Strickland
Sotheby’s, London, 13 December 1965, lot 1
Sir Howard Hodgkin, C.H., C.B.E (1932-2017)
Sven Gahlin Collection, acquired in London, 1966, sold Sotheby’s London, 6 October 2015, lot 14.
Literature: Hodgkin and McInerney 1983, no.19.
Exhibited: Indian Drawing, touring exhibition catalogue, by the Arts Council of Great Britain and Howard Hodgkin, 1983:
London, Hayward Gallery
Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton Art Gallery
Coventry, Herbert Art Gallery
Bolton, Bolton Museum and Art Gallery
Sheffield, Graves Art Gallery.
Note: This drawing has been attributed by Robert Skelton to Govardhan based on the overall naturalism of the animal and the European influence visible in the handling of the saddle drapery. It can be compared to the horses in a battle scene by Govardhan from a manuscript of the Garshaspnama of circa 1610 (David Collection, Copenhagen, 17/2004), see Sotheby's, London, 28 April 2004, lot 57.
Govardhan, one of the greatest royal artists of the Mughal period, was born at court, a 'house-born' son of the artist Bhavanidas. His earliest works were illustrations for manuscripts at the end of Akbar's reign in the early years of the seventeenth century. He moved to Allahabad with Prince Salim and continued in the royal atelier through the reigns of Jahangir and Shah Jahan, until around 1645. He developed a distinctive style that was simultaneously delicate and penetrating, with a strong interest in psychological observation and, in later years, a mellow manner of lighting that verges on sfumato.
Christie's. Maharajas & Mughal Magnificence, New York, 19 June 2019