Dec 29, 2020

As punishment, the jester’s wife and the Zangi are thrown into fire and the emir’s wife and the mahout are trampled by an elephant, from a Tuti-nama (Tales of a Parrot), Twenty-second Night

As punishment, the jester’s wife and the Zangi are thrown into fire and the emir’s wife and the mahout are trampled by an elephant, from a Tuti-nama (Tales of a Parrot), Twenty-second 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: 10 x 10.1 cm (3 15/16 x 4 in.)

Gift of Mrs. A. Dean Perry 1962.279.158.b

Location

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This painting shows features of Persian painting that transferred to India in the early Mughal court.

Description

This painting depicts the closing scene of the tale the parrot tells Khujasta on the twenty-second night. He concludes the story by warning his mistress against committing any acts that would cause her to be laughed at and get her into trouble, like the wife of the emir, who is shown here being trampled to death along with her lover, the elephant driver. While in prison the jester caught them having sex on top of the elephant her lover had ridden up to her window. This brazen transgression made the imprisoned jester laugh so hard that the emir was alerted to the illicit affair. In the lower left the jester’s wife and her African lover, the Zangi, are being burned in punishment for their infidelity.

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