Bulbul, watercolour and pencil on card, framed, 48.5 x 21.6cm (19 1/8 x 8 1/2in).
Provenance: Private collection, Austria: acquired directly from the artist.
The nightingale, or bulbul, has a rich history in the Indo-Iranian cultural sphere alluding to earthly or human love albeit with mystical undertones. Chughtai delighted in the representation of the bulbul and the bird is found throughout his oeuvre. In Chughtai's works the bulbul is commonly depicted alongside figures and rarely do they appear on their own.
Chughtai was an avid collector of Japanese woodblock prints as well as books on Chinese art and the influence they had on him is clear to see in this work. The artist's technical ability, his intelligent use of composition and his mastery of the oriental form is also evident in Bulbul.
Although the work is undated the card used displays a watermark which reads 'Waterman 1951'. This date ties in well with the presumed date for this piece.
We would like to thank Dr Christa Paula for her assistance in cataloguing this lot.