A WOMAN MISTAKES A COW FOR THE ANGEL OF DEATH, FROM A LIGHTS OF CANOPUS (ANWAR-I SUHAILI) OF KASHIFI (IRANIAN, D. 1504)
June 30, 1610
A woman mistakes a cow for the Angel of Death, from a Lights of Canopus (Anwar-i Suhaili) of Kashifi (Iranian, d. 1504)
Mughal India, reign of Jahangir
Gum tempera on paper
Painting: 19.7 x 10.2 cm (7 3/4 x 4 in.); Framed: 38.1 x 26.7 cm (15 x 10 1/2 in.)
Gift of Michael Silver and Deborah Lader in memory of Rabbi Daniel Jeremy Silver 2019.81
DID YOU KNOW?
A previous owner identified the scene as the first cesarean section.
When a cow who got her head stuck in a pot accidentally entered a woman’s yard, the woman mistook her for the Angel of Death and begged that her sick daughter be taken, instead of herself. The moral of the story is that, when tested, people put themselves first. The story comes from an Indian fable, translated into Persian, and illustrated for the imperial Mughal court.
'The Mother of Rustam'
inscription in the back of the painting
The short inscription on the drawing is the identification of the elderly gentleman as Zal, Rustam'