Dec 9, 2020

The prince meets a carefree dancing dervish whose good fortune he purchases for his ring, from a Tuti-nama (Tales of a Parrot): Eighteenth Night

The prince meets a carefree dancing dervish whose good fortune he purchases for his ring, from a Tuti-nama (Tales of a Parrot): Eighteenth Night

c. 1560

Part of a set. See all set records

Mughal India, court of Akbar

(reigned 1556–1605)

Gum tempera, ink, and gold on paper

Overall: 20.3 x 14 cm (8 x 5 1/2 in.); Painting only: 6.9 x 10.5 cm (2 11/16 x 4 1/8 in.)

Gift of Mrs. A. Dean Perry 1962.279.131.b

Location

Did you know?

The animals in the wilderness include a tiger, two does, and a blackbuck.

Description

The prince, in the orange tunic, had been exiled by his older brother who inherited the throne, so he decided to travel the country. In a wilderness he met a dancing dervish to whom wild animals seemed mystically drawn; the deer are unconcerned about the tiger nearby. Dervishes are Sufi holy men whose dances bring them closer to god, but in this ironic story, the dervish dances for joy, because he just perceived an omen that he was about to become rich. The prince handed him his signet ring in exchange for the dervish’s good fortune.

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