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Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper
Gift of Mrs. A. Dean Perry 1962.279.50.b
The artist who painted the first two scenes rendered the pit as a structure made of bricks. Peering over the edge is a Brahmin, a member of the Hindu priest class, wearing white. In the first painting he holds the bracelets given to him by the jinn princess to pay off his gambling debts; in the second he holds a text.
In the pit, the jinn princess has been waiting for 70 years for her beloved to find the courage to pass through the cauldron of boiling oil in order to become purified enough to be with her––a jinn, who is a being of light, like a genie. Hearing of this predicament from the Brahmin, the King of Kings, wearing orange, provided a salve that protects the wearer from the harm of the hot oil, so the old man could safely pass through the boiling cauldron, which restored his youth.
The artist Banavari, whose name is inscribed on the margin of the third page, went on to become a prominent artist in Akbar’s atelier. This painting may be the earliest surviving example of his work.
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