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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: 8.3 x 10.2 cm (3 1/4 x 4 in.)
Gift of Mrs. A. Dean Perry 1962.279.89.a
Animal Fables of India (Indian art rotation)
On the Brahman's arm is written "Ram Ra[m]," indicating that he is a devotee of Rama, avatar of Vishnu.
A Brahman stands on a sandy beach prayerfully calling out for help to send a message to the king of the ocean. His own raja (sovereign) had sent him on pain of death to bring the king of the ocean to the Raja’s son’s wedding in three days. In the text, the wind brings the Brahman’s message to the ocean, and the fish, hearing it, take the news of the wedding invitation to their king. The swirling eddies and foamy shore suggest the presence of wind. Besides fish, a crocodile, sea snake, frog, and turtle also heed the message.
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