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Image of The Jackal who Pronounced Himself King

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Bookmark: https://collection.sdmart.org/objects-1/info/5438

The Jackal who Pronounced Himself King


Creation date: ca. 1560-1565
Creation place: India

Other Information

Type: Manuscript Painting
Medium and Support: Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Credit Line: Edwin Binney 3rd Collection
Accession Number: 1990.273
State/Province: Uttar Pradesh
Dimensions: 6 5/16 in. x 4 in. (16.03 cm x 10.16 cm)

Provenance

George Terasaki, New York, New York ( - November 10, 1966)

Edwin Binney 3rd, San Diego, California (November 10, 1966 - August 27, 1990)

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California (August 27, 1990 - )

Label Copy

March 2005
Origins of Mughal Painting
The Tales of the Parrot is one of the first, and possibly the very first, of the undertakings of the fledgling Mughal atelier under the young emperor Akbar. It was painted by a motley group of about one hundred Indian artists, all of whom had been working either in the traditional indigenous styles of devotional manuscript illumination (Section II), or in the Indo-Persian hybrid styles of the Sultanate productions (Section III). These Indian painters were instructed by and worked together with the Iranian artists recently brought to Delhi by Humayun. Throughout this manuscript the pictures display varying degrees of adaptability to the new idioms.
These two paintings from the Tales of the Parrot show remarkable assimilation to Persianate styles combined with a completely new sense of naturalism, volume, and spatial depth which accords with the taste of their patron, the young emperor Akbar. The rock forms in A Storm at Sea, for instance, are derived from Persian sources (see Section I, 1971:61), but they are heavily modeled and provide a sense of three-dimensionality that is unseen in Persian landscapes.
Akbar had an almost insatiable appetite for wondrous stories. The Tales of the Parrot is a Persian adaptation of a Sanskrit collection of tales, each related nightly by a pet parrot in order to prevent his mistress from leaving the house to commit adultery. He would spin marvelous yarns, such as the one about a jackal who fell accidentally into a vat of blue dye and proclaimed himself king of the beasts. The uneasy order during his ill-fated reign is conveyed by the nervous submission of the most powerful animals, who are kept farthest away from the throne. The storm in 1990:143 is caused by the sea's empathy with the plight of the virtuous heroine on the ship, for when she sighs over being abducted and carried off to a foreign land, the sea sighs along with her.

October 2005
Domains of Wonder
In one of the stories from the Tutinama (“Tales of a Parrot”) the parrot tells of an ordinary jackal who, having fallen into a vat of indigo, convinced the other animals that he should be king. Despite his cleverly keeping the more powerful animals at the fringes of his court assembly, his true nature, suspected all along by the confounded animals, eventually is revealed, much to his detriment. Akbar appreciated such engaging fables, and his atelier illustrated many volumes of similar tales throughout his reign.

Sonya Quintanilla (2014) Quebec
The Jackal who Pronounced Himself King
From a Tutinama («Tales of a Parrot»)
India, ca. 1560
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper. 16.03 x 10.16 cm
Edwin Binney 3rd Collection, 1990.273

This page is from the Tutinama, or «Tales of a Parrot», which is one of the first—and possibly the very first—of the undertakings of the fledgling Mughal atelier under the young emperor Akbar. It was painted by a group of about one hundred Indian artists, all of whom had been working either in the traditional indigenous styles of devotional manuscript illumination, or in the Indo-Persian hybrid styles of the Sultanate productions. These Indian painters were instructed by and worked together with the Iranian artists recently brought to Delhi by Humayun. Throughout this manuscript the pictures display varying degrees of adaptability to the new idioms.

Akbar had an almost insatiable appetite for wondrous stories. The Tutinama is a Persian adaptation of a collection of Sanskrit tales, each related nightly by a pet parrot in order to prevent his mistress Khojasta from leaving the house to have an adulterous affair. The parrot would spin marvelous yarns, such as the one about an ordinary jackal who fell accidentally into a vat of blue dye and convinced the other animals that he should be king. The uneasy order during his ill-fated reign is conveyed by the nervous submission of the most powerful animals, who are kept farthest away from the throne. His true nature, suspected all along by the confounded animals, eventually is revealed, much to his detriment. Akbar appreciated such engaging fables, and his atelier illustrated many volumes of similar tales throughout his reign.
Last Updated: 9/5/2017

Exhibition

This object was included in the following exhibitions:

A Flower from Every Meadow: Indian Paintings from American Collections Asia Society Galleries , 3/21/1973 - 11/11/1973

The Mughal and Deccani Schools: Indian Miniature Painting from the Collection of Edwin Binney, 3rd The Portland Art Association , 12/2/1973 - 3/7/1976

Paintings from the Muslim Courts of India British Museum , 4/13/1976 - 7/11/1976

Domains of Wonder: Selected Masterworks of Indian Painting San Diego Museum of Art , 10/22/2005 - 1/27/2008

Into India: South Asian Paintings from The San Diego Museum of Art San Diego Museum of Art , 2/28/2012 - 5/27/2012

Bibliography

This object has the following bibliographic references:

Dr. Edwin Binney, 3rd. The Mughal and Deccani Schools Portland Art Museum. Portland, Oregon, 1973
Page Number: 25, 28, 29, 31, Figure Number: 12c

Mr. Stuart Cary Welch. A Flower from Every Meadow: Asia House Gallery. New York, New York, 1973
Page Number: 13

Mr. Stuart Cary Welch and Mark Zebrowski. A Flower from Every Meadow: Asia House Gallery. New York, New York, 1973
Page Number: 92-93, Figure Number: 54a

Ralph H. Pinder-Wilson. Paintings from the Muslim Courts of India World of Islam Festival Publishing Company Ltd. London, England, 1976
Page Number: 24 no. 4c

Dr. Sonya Quintanilla. Veranda Veranda Publications Inc.. Atlanta, Georgia, September 2005-October 2005
Page Number: 106, Figure Number: 106

Brijinder Nath Goswamy and Dr. Caron Smith. Domains of Wonder: San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 2005
Page Number: 114, 115, Figure Number: 41

Ms. Lissa Johnston. Rulers of India Newbridge Educational Publishing, LLC. New York, New York, 2006
Page Number: 7, Figure Number: 7

Dr. Sonya Quintanilla and Patrick Coleman. Visiones de la India Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Madrid, 2012
Page Number: 124, 275-6, Figure Number: cat. 49, p. 125

Dr. Sonya Quintanilla and Patrick Coleman. Visiones de la India (Mexico) Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia. Mexico , 2013
Page Number: 80, Figure Number: cat. 48, p. 81

Marks

Inscription, Top center:

Inscription, On reverse:

Number, Bottom center:

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