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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: 11.3 x 10.1 cm (4 7/16 x 4 in.)
Gift of Mrs. A. Dean Perry 1962.279.127.a
The golden mihrab next to vessels for ritual cleansing points toward Mecca, emphasizing the wife’s piety.
When a lascivious young man learns of the beauty and virtue of the merchant Mansur’s wife, he becomes obsessed with her. While Mansur is away on a long journey, the man decides to profess his love for the woman through a messenger. Here Mansur’s wife, seated on an arabesque-patterned carpet, rebuffs the young man’s advances and sends the procuress away.
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