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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: 7.7 x 10.1 cm (3 1/16 x 4 in.)
Gift of Mrs. A. Dean Perry 1962.279.113.a
This story takes place in China
In a scene that was overpainted to suit the taste of the emperor Akbar for soft modeling and a naturalistic sky, a tiger lies in a pink clearing, while mice run around him to pick at his teeth. The artist has depicted a tiger instead of a lion, the two often being interchangeable in Indian art. In the story, the lion had grown old and suffered from cavities, into which his food would get stuck. Mice would come and feed on those morsels between his teeth and disturb his sleep.
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