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Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper
Gift of Mrs. A. Dean Perry 1962.279.158.b
This painting depicts the closing scene of the tale the parrot tells Khujasta on the 22nd 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 amir, 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 amir 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.
The grim executions are set against a grassy background with flowering sprigs under a gold sky––stylistic features of Persian painting transferred to India in the early Mughal court.
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