Nikfal, the fortune of the prince in the form of a woman, offers to accompany him, from a Tuti-nama (Tales of a Parrot): Eighteenth Night

Nikfal, the fortune of the prince in the form of a woman, offers to accompany him, from a Tuti-nama (Tales of a Parrot): Eighteenth Night

c. 1560

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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: 11.2 x 10.3 cm (4 7/16 x 4 1/16 in.)

Gift of Mrs. A. Dean Perry 1962.279.132.a

Location

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The animals in the background indicate that the scene is set in the wilderness.

Description

The good fortune of the dervish that the prince purchased with his ring appeared to him in the form of a beautiful woman named Nikfal, meaning “Good Fortune.” The pair converse amiably in a grassy meadow full of deer under a lapis lazuli–blue sky with gold arabesque motifs. She wears Indian garments, while the prince is dressed as a Mughal in Central Asian garments. The story is said to take place in Zabulistan, in western Afghanistan.

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