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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: 10.5 x 10.2 cm (4 1/8 x 4 in.)
Gift of Mrs. A. Dean Perry 1962.279.161.a
This story takes place in Tabriz, capital of Iran’s Safavid Empire from 1501 to 1555.
A small, yellow box rests on the ground in the center foreground of the image. Inside are the remains of a skull inscribed with a warning that it had caused the death of eighty men and would cause the death of eighty more. The merchant, on the left, had the skull destroyed, unaware that his actions could not circumvent fate.
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