Turkey by Ustad Mansur - c. 1612 - 12.8 x 12.2 cm Victoria and Albert Museum Turkey by Ustad Mansur - c. 1612 - 12.8 x 12.2 cm Victoria and Albert Museum


Opaque watercolour and gold on paper • 12.8 x 12.2 cm
  • Ustad Mansur - 1590 - 1624 Ustad Mansur c. 1612

To all our friends who are celebrating this day—we wish you hope, joy, peace, good health, favor, and love on this Thanksgiving Day! Thank you for being with us; we are so grateful to have you, the best app users in the world.  :)

Obviously, today we had to feature a turkey. From a bit of an unexpected source, but what an interesting story it has!

The painting of a North American turkey cock was done for the Mughal emperor Jahangir (who reigned from 1605 to 1627). The Mughal Empire was an early-modern empire that controlled much of South Asia between the 16th and 19th centuries. The painting is a record of the arrival of this exotic bird at the court in 1612. Jahangir had asked his friend, the high-ranking noble Muqarrab Khan, to procure rarities of any kind at the port of Cambay, on the western coast, and in 1612 a consignment of exotic birds and animals caused a sensation. Jahangir recorded this in his memoirs, written in Persian: "as these animals appeared to me to be very strange, I both described them and ordered that painters should draw them in the Jahangir-nama ["Book of Jahangir", his memoirs], so that the amazement that arose from hearing of them might be increased. One of these animals in body is larger than a peahen and smaller than a peacock. When it is in heat and displays itself, it spreads out its feathers like the peacock and dances about. Its beak and legs are like those of a cock. Its head and neck and the part under the throat are every minute of a different color. When it is in heat it is quite red - one might say it had adorned itself with red coral - and after a while it becomes white in the same places and looks like cotton. It sometimes looks of a turquoise color. Like a chameleon it constantly changes color."

Dear art lovers, we are still looking for $100,000 to fund the new version of the DailyArt app. We must develop it, because the app you use now is too old and soon it won't be possible to use it. If would like to consider supporting us, learn how you can do it. Thank you!  :))

P.S. You won't believe which Western artist was inspired by Mughal portraits!  :)