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Gum tempera, ink, and gold on paper
Overall: 20.3 x 14 cm (8 x 5 1/2 in.); Painting only: 6.1 x 10.2 cm (2 3/8 x 4 in.)
Gift of Mrs. A. Dean Perry 1962.279.155.a
The tale references stereotypes about Africans that were current in India and Iran when the text was written.
In the opening scene of the parrot’s bawdy story about a jester, who is shown wearing green on his way to perform at the court of the emir, he came upon an Ethiopian, known as Zangi, dancing by the side of the road. When he learned that the Zangi was overjoyed because he was planning to meet his beloved, the jester’s own wife, the jester was so distraught he was unable to perform, and the emir threw him in prison. The artist depicted the Zangi as described in the text as semi-wild with caricatured physical traits, uncovered head, and little clothing.
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