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Gum tempera, ink, and gold on paper
Page: 20 x 14.2 cm (7 7/8 x 5 9/16 in.); Painting only: 10.2 x 10.6 cm (4 x 4 3/16 in.)
Gift of Mrs. A. Dean Perry 1962.279.32.b
Young master artist Dasavanta put a layer of cool blue color under his painting.
This painting depicts a scene from the cautionary tale the mother parrot tells her young to warn them that interspecies friendships, like theirs with the fox cubs, are a bad idea. She tells them that there once was a monkey who could play chess, and he enjoyed many games with a prince. When the prince invited dignitaries for a party, the monkey made a bad joke, the prince slapped him, and the monkey bit him in return. At the left, food is prepared as the guests look on in astonishment. An inscription at the bottom of the page names the artist, who went on to become one of the most celebrated Indian masters at the Mughal court.
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