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Opaque watercolor with gold on paper (recto); ink and gold on pink-speckled paper (verso)
Page: 42.2 x 28.5 cm (16 5/8 x 11 1/4 in.)
Gift in honor of Madeline Neves Clapp; Gift of Mrs. Henry White Cannon by exchange; Bequest of Louise T. Cooper; Leonard C. Hanna Jr. Fund; From the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection 2013.336
A Persian inscription identifies the bird-man in the tree by name, but the text in which he appears remains unidentified. Also unknown is the Chinese princess Mahliqa (“she who has a face like the moon”), named in a Persian inscription written in front of her face. The artist depicts her in the dress of a Mughal court lady, except for the addition of an unusual headdress, and her handmaidens all look Indian. They gesture to the bird-man from the opposite side of a formal garden canal with fountains. A fortified city lies in the distance behind the walled garden, while creatures peer up at the fabulous composite figure from the water below.
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