Oct 4, 2013

The merchant’s clerk replaces the sugar purchased by the philandering wife with gravel, from a Tuti-nama (Tales of a Parrot): Eighth Night

The merchant’s clerk replaces the sugar purchased by the philandering wife with gravel, from a Tuti-nama (Tales of a Parrot): Eighth 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

Painting only: 10.5 x 10.2 cm (4 1/8 x 4 in.); Overall: 20 x 14.4 cm (7 7/8 x 5 11/16 in.)

Gift of Mrs. A. Dean Perry 1962.279.70.a

Location

Did you know?

A bowl beneath the lovers’ bed contains green pan leaves, which freshen breath when chewed.

Description

While buying sugar at the market, a woman has an impromptu affair with a merchant. The two lovers embrace in the chamber on the left. Outside the chamber the merchant’s clerk, wearing blue, surreptitiously replaces the adulteress’s sugar with gravel. Unaware of the switch, she will bring the bag of gravel back to her husband, who reacts with surprise and consternation

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