A Mounted Man Hunting Birds with a Falcon, Mughal dynasty, early 18th century, opaque watercolor and gold on paper, 8 3/4×13 1/4 in.
Falcons: The Art of the Hunt
National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution
January 15-July 17, 2022, Washington D.C.
Swift, fierce, and loyal, falcons have been celebrated for millennia. In ancient Egypt, they were closely associated with Horus, the god of the heavens. By the early eighth century in Syria, falcons were being trained to become skillful hunters at the royal courts. The art of falconry soon spread across the rest of the Islamic world, to the Byzantine empire in the west, and to the east as far as China. It is still practiced in many societies today, especially in the Arab world. A selection of paintings and objects from ancient Egypt to China offers a glimpse into the fascinating world of falcons.
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