The Parrot Addresses Khujasta at the Beginning of the Eighth Night, from a Tuti-nama (Tales of a Parrot)

The Parrot Addresses Khujasta at the Beginning of the Eighth Night, from a Tuti-nama (Tales of a Parrot)

c. 1560

Part of a set. See all set records

Mughal India, court of Akbar

(reigned 1556–1605)

Gum tempera, ink, and gold on paper

Overall: 20.3 x 14 cm (8 x 5 1/2 in.); Painting only: 11.4 x 9.8 cm (4 1/2 x 3 7/8 in.)

Gift of Mrs. A. Dean Perry 1962.279.51.b


Did you know?

Banavari 1 also painted folios 49v (1962.279.49.b), 50v (1962.279.50.b), and 52v (1962.279.52.b).


On the eighth night, the parrot tells Khujasta a story—the most lavishly illustrated of all the chapters in the book—that has important parallels with the experiences of Emperor Akbar himself. The overarching tale is about a prince who maintained a vow of silence despite being imprisoned and taken to be executed on seven consecutive days. Each day, the king was convinced to stop the execution after hearing a story told by one of his seven viziers, or ministers. The adjacent paintings illustrate scenes from the overarching tale as well as the fifth vizier's story. The golden sky, purple hills, cyprus tree, and flowering branches are elements learned from Persian painting. Indian sources contributed the bolster that appears to float on the suggestively red-colored plane of the bed.

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