A composite form of the constellation Leo, composed of a human head, a dragon's tail, lions, tigers, fish and other creatures Mewar, mid-18th Century
gouache on paper, red border, framed 203 x 280 mm.
Provenance: The Property of a Nobleman.
For a very similar composition, see Sotheby's, Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures, London, 29th April 1998, lot 82.
The technique of composite painting was of 17th century Persian origin and composite animals (narikunjara) were popular subjects in many schools of Indian painting. Mewar artists were painting these subjects from the early 18th century: there is a painting showing a Dutchman riding a composite camel in the Victoria and Albert Museum. For comparison see:
J. Auboyer, 'Un maitre hollandais s'inspirant des miniatures mogholes', Arts Asiatiques II, 1955, fig. 10. E. Binney, The Mughal and Deccani Schools, Indian Miniature Painting from the Collection of Edwin Binney 3rd., Portland 1973, no. 31. A. Topsfield, Paintings from Rajasthan in the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne 1980, nos. 270 and 271. T. Falk and M. Archer, Indian Miniatures in the India Office Library, London 1981, no. 207.