Dec 30, 2020

The pious man’s wife offers the seven-colored bird as food to her lover, but not finding its head, he breaks the pot and bowl in anger, from a Tuti-nama (Tales of a Parrot): Fifty-second Night

The pious man’s wife offers the seven-colored bird as food to her lover, but not finding its head, he breaks the pot and bowl in anger, from a Tuti-nama (Tales of a Parrot): Fifty-second 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: 10.1 x 10 cm (4 x 3 15/16 in.)

Gift of Mrs. A. Dean Perry 1962.279.335.b

Location

Did you know?

The cooked body of the seven-colored bird lies thrown on the tiled floor.

Description

The treacherous man knows that whoever eats the bird’s head will become a king; however, the woman’s son has already eaten it. Enraged, he demands that she cut off her son’s head and cook it for him. Maddened by love, the woman agrees. The son’s nurse learns of the woman’s terrible plan and flees with him to safety.

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