Falcons: The Art of the Hunt

January 15, 2022 – July 17, 2022

A Mounted man hunting birds with a falcon; Mughal dynasty, early 18th century; Color and gold on paper; Gift of Charles Lang Freer F1907.212

Freer Gallery of Art
Jefferson Drive and 12th St., SW
Washington, DC

Swift, fierce, and loyal, falcons have been celebrated for their exceptional qualities 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 groomed and trained to become skillful hunters at the royal courts. The art of falconry soon spread across the rest of the Islamic world and 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 offer a glimpse into the fascinating world of falcons.