Image courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Arts | Licence: CC0 1.0
Image courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Arts | Licence: CC0 1.0

A Common Indian Nightjar (Caprimulgus asiaticus)

c.1780

Unknown Artist

From the collection

Title

A Common Indian Nightjar (Caprimulgus asiaticus)

Date

c.1780

Description

The Latin name for the nightjar, Caprimulgus asiaticus, translates as “goat sucker” and refers to the ancient myth that these sweet-looking birds sucked on the milk of goats by night. While untrue, nightjars probably got this reputation for the close contact they had with goats while feeding on nearby insects. The artist has paid particular attention to detail, rendering each feather individually and marking lines on the legs, while situating the bird in a perspectival landscape complete with tiny trees in the background. This painting comes from an album made for Claude Martin (1735–1800), a Frenchman in the service of Nawab Asaf al- Daula (r. 1775–97) and the East India Company in Lucknow. It subsequently belonged to the family of Charles Jenkinson, the 1st Earl of Liverpool. Medium: opaque watercolor on paper.
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From the Watercolour World

Location

India

Country

Continent

Location Accuracy

Unknown

Category

Tags

Credits

Image Credit

Image courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Arts

Image Licence

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