Dec 30, 2020

The fourth man digs at the spot where he dropped the shell, expecting jewels, but discovering mere iron, from a Tuti-nama (Tales of a Parrot): Forty-seventh Night

The fourth man digs at the spot where he dropped the shell, expecting jewels, but discovering mere iron, from a Tuti-nama (Tales of a Parrot): Forty-seventh Night

c. 1560

Part of a set. See all set records

Mughal India, court of Akbar

(reigned 1556–1605)

Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper

Overall: 20.3 x 14 cm (8 x 5 1/2 in.); Painting only: 9.6 x 10 cm (3 3/4 x 3 15/16 in.)

Gift of Mrs. A. Dean Perry 1962.279.302.b

Location

Did you know?

A bear, hiding among the rocks on the left, prepares to drop a stone on a spotted creature below him.

Description

Against a rocky landscape, a lone man raises a pickaxe. Previously, he and his four friends had received shells from a wise man, who claimed they would lead the men to their fortunes. Three of the friends discovered copper, silver, and gold. The fourth man, however, was dissatisfied with the discovery of iron, and his greed ultimately led to his downfall.

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