Dec 29, 2020

The forty wives and their secret paramours being punished by stoning to death, from a Tuti-nama (Tales of a Parrot): Twenty-third Night

The forty wives and their secret paramours being punished by stoning to death, from a Tuti-nama (Tales of a Parrot): Twenty-third 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: 8.7 x 10 cm (3 7/16 x 3 15/16 in.)

Gift of Mrs. A. Dean Perry 1962.279.164.a

Location

Did you know?

Mustaches are visible on several women in the pile, indicating that they are men in disguise.

Description

The Raja’s wives have been hiding forty young men dressed as women in their chambers. When their amorous affairs were revealed, all eighty were killed. Their deaths fulfilled an old prophecy written on a mysterious skull. The Raja’s men stand on the edges of the composition, hurling stones into the pile of intertwined bodies.

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