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Gum tempera, ink, and gold on paper
Overall: 20.3 x 14 cm (8 x 5 1/2 in.); Painting only: 6.3 x 9.9 cm (2 1/2 x 3 7/8 in.)
Gift of Mrs. A. Dean Perry 1962.279.52.b
The bearded astrologer has a chart with calculations on the carpet in front of him.
The parrot’s tale on the eighth night begins with a king in India who finally had a son late in life. The painting depicts the king enthroned, gesturing to the documents of an astrologer who has predicted that the child will undergo severe hardship in his 13th year, but that he will overcome them. The infant prince is held in the arms of a woman kneeling at the left. Female musicians provide accompaniment to the scene. The flat red background, drawn from indigenous Indian painting traditions, visually connotes the emotionally charged quality of this moment for the king.
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