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Image of Four o'Clock or The Marvel of Peru (Mirabilis jalapa)

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Bookmark: https://collection.sdmart.org/objects-1/info/8054

Four o'Clock or The Marvel of Peru (Mirabilis jalapa)


Creation date: ca. 1640
Creation place: India

Other Information

Type: Watercolor Painting
Medium and Support: Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Credit Line: Museum purchase
Accession Number: 1992.66
State/Province: Delhi
Dimensions: 8 3/8 in. x 4 7/16 in. (21.3 cm x 11.3 cm)

Provenance

Terence McInerney Fine Arts Ltd., New York, New York ( - July 6, 1992)

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California (July 6, 1992 - )

Label Copy

In the Company Manner (2009), SDMA Gallery Rotation
Natural history illustrations were not an innovation of the British in India. Mughal emperors since the 16th centuray were keenly interested in the natural world, and they had artists in their ateliers paint exact depictions of special plants. They were typically small in format for the inclusion in an album, and many were made with lavish use of gold and other costly materials.
Four o'clocks are native to tropical America, and they flourish in San Diego. Their distinctively fragrant blossoms stay closed under direct contact with the sun and open in the late afternoon, hence the name. They were probably introduced to India by the Portuguese, who had been actively engaged in mercantile activities in western India since the 15th century. The artist has rendered all the attributes of this plant, including the round black seeds that peer from the clusters of leaves, and it seems to burst with vitality.

Sonya Quintanilla (2014) Quebec
Four o'Clock or The Marvel of Peru (Mirabilis jalapa)
India, ca. 1640
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper. 21.3 x 11.3 cm
Museum purchase, 1992.66

Mughal emperors since the sixteenth century were keenly interested in the natural world, and they had artists in their ateliers paint exact depictions of special plants. They were typically small in format for the inclusion in an album, and many were made with lavish use of gold and other costly materials.

Four o'clocks are native to tropical America. Their distinctively fragrant blossoms stay closed under direct contact with the sun and open in the late afternoon, hence the name. They were probably introduced to India by the Portuguese, who had been actively engaged in mercantile activities in western India since the fifteenth century. The artist has rendered all the attributes of this plant, including the round black seeds that peer from the clusters of leaves, and it seems to burst with vitality.
Last Updated: 7/28/2016

Exhibition

This object was included in the following exhibitions:

In the Company Manner: Indian-British Painting ca. 1770-1890 (Binney Rotation) , 3/28/2009 - 9/27/2009

Into India: South Asian Paintings from The San Diego Museum of Art San Diego Museum of Art , 2/28/2012 - 5/27/2012

Visible Vaults The San Diego Museum of Art , 11/12/2016 - 00/00/00

Bibliography

This object has the following bibliographic references:

Dr. Ellen Smart. San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 1993
Page Number: 71, 78, 79, Figure Number: 79

Dr. Caron Smith. San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 2003
Page Number: 75, Figure Number: 75

Dr. Sonya Quintanilla and Patrick Coleman. Visiones de la India Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Madrid, 2012
Page Number: 170, 284, Figure Number: cat. 75, p. 171

Dr. Sonya Quintanilla and Patrick Coleman. Visiones de la India (Mexico) Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia. Mexico , 2013
Page Number: 110, Figure Number: cat. 73, p. 111

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