A WOMAN MISTAKES A COW FOR THE ANGEL OF DEATH, FROM A LIGHTS OF CANOPUS (ANWAR-I SUHAILI) OF KASHIFI (IRANIAN, D. 1504)

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June 30, 1610
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People
Jahangir 1605–1627

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DESCRIPTION

A woman mistakes a cow for the Angel of Death, from a Lights of Canopus (Anwar-i Suhaili) of Kashifi (Iranian, d. 1504)
c. 1610

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.

DESCRIPTION

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.

INSCRIPTION

walida-i-rustam

INSCRIPTION TRANSLATION
'The Mother of Rustam'

INSCRIPTION REMARK

inscription in the back of the painting

INSCRIPTION

Zal

INSCRIPTION REMARK

The short inscription on the drawing is the identification of the elderly gentleman as Zal, Rustam'