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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: 10.5 x 10.4 cm (4 1/8 x 4 1/8 in.)
Gift of Mrs. A. Dean Perry 1962.279.97.a
The body of the thief has been overpainted and repositioned.
Paintings like this reveal how the artists of the Tuti-nama appear to have freely experimented with techniques to make Persian and Indian styles more lively and natural to accord with the taste of their patron, the young Emperor Akbar. Grasses highlighted in yellow impressionistic sprays fill the ground under the magnificent banyan tree. Its trunk is encrusted with a network of aerial roots; the foliage has both green-veined leaves with yellow rims, and freshly sprouted pink sprigs. The streetcleaner, in the blue tunic, had come across a pearl of such high quality that no jeweler knew how much it was worth. So he decided to visit the king to see if he would buy it. On the way he fell in with four other travelers who robbed him of the pearl while he was sleeping.
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