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Paintings > Mughal > The Sufi with Cow
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The Sufi with Cow

The Sufi with Cow

The Sufi with Cow

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Miniature Painting on Old Urdu Manuscript Paper

3.6" X 7.1"
Item Code:
MD58
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$75.00   Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
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Viewed 2080 times since 2nd Oct, 2008
The painting, inscribed as 'Khudaband banees.... bali Allah basar.... tahir kunanda' and the like, gives the impression of an illustrated folio of some Persian text but the inscription does not relate to any known Persian or other classical texts. The inscribed words refer simply to various attributes of Allah and at the most suggest that the figure is just a saint, a sufi in all probabilities. The artist has attempted in his portrayal the great harmonious vision of sufism and the far wider stretch of a saint's empire than that of a king or emperor. The artist seems to have been aware of the fact that a sufi saint lived in everything but with nothing and for nothing. He would live naked bodied and in invaluable jewels at the same time. A crown would not breed in him vanity or affectation nor barefootedness humility. A sufi would wear a bejeweled crown on his head, world's great wealth on his person and would walk bare footed and empty bellied. Love is a sufi's life-way, harmony his vision, detachment his rule and benevolence the gist of his all acts. And, it is what the artist of this real miniature sheet has arrested in his lines and colours.

The artist has rendered the sufi saint caressing a cow, a symbol of agro-dairy Aryan life-way and one of the representative Hindu divinities and a Hindu chanwara-bearing lady behind him. It underlines his religious harmony as a sufi. The artist has widened this harmony further covering within it all animal world, all nature and all mankind represented here by cow and dog, trees, water, hills and sky and male and female, rich and poor, ruler and ruled and saint and devotee. The richly bejeweled saint is semi-naked and barefooted and has as his belongings just a water pot. The artist has attempted to draw his figures and the entire surroundings, tree, sky, clouds, rocks, lake etc. in Mughalia style, though has not so much succeeded in arriving at the sharp Mughal features and fine Mughal lines and forms.

This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of ancient Indian literature. Dr Daljeet is the chief curator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the National Museum of India, New Delhi. They have both collaborated on numerous books on Indian art and culture. the Miniature Paintings Gallery at the National Museum of India, New Delhi.

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