A floral fantasy of animals and birds (Waq-waq)

early 1600s
Location: not on view
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The dragon threatens to singe the boar’s beard.


A magical plant simultaneously brings forth and eats animal life in multiple forms. Playfully rendered, real and mythic creatures ripen on the vine. All stems issue from the elephant, who is about to eat the main branch, while he, in turn, emerges from one that is about to be cut by the teeth of an ibex at the lower right.

This painting would have beguiled courtly connoisseurs who enjoyed discovering visual puns in a royal album. Learned viewers would note that an animal-bearing plant recalls medieval Persian stories about the mythical island of Waq-waq, inhabited by half-plant/half-animal creatures.
A floral fantasy of animals and birds (Waq-waq)

A floral fantasy of animals and birds (Waq-waq)

early 1600s

Mughal India

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