In this painting Shah Jahan(1592-1666) is shown riding a black and white( piebald) horse with very ornate bridle and saddle. Shah Jahan is best known as the builder of the Taj Mahal. This horse apparently appeared in several paintings and miniatures. This would indicate that this horse is highly prized by the Shah’s family and was considered to be a very fine specimen.
The Kathiawari breed was established in India in the time of the Mughal emperors (1536-1857) and is famous for its curly ears that seem to point to each other. It was also noted as possessing great stamina. This breed was traditionally bred in royal houses. Today these horses are still sought after and respected in their native area of Gujarat.
This painting is attributed to Bhag. Ink, colors and gold on paper. New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. I found the photo of this painting in Tamsin Pickeral’s book The Horse , 30,000 Years of the Horse in Art.
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