Page from a Manuscript of the "Tuti-nama":
Episodes from the "Story of the Lynx and the Lion"
The tale of a lion, who left his servant, a monkey, in charge of his den.
A lynx, ignoring his wife’s cautionary tale about a wolf who appropriated a jackal’s den and paid with his life, claimed the absent lion’s home.
When the lion returned and the monkey told him what had happened, the lion refused to believe that a mere lynx would be so bold. Deciding that the den must be inhabited by a creature stronger and more ferocious than himself, he approached his old home cautiously.
The lynx was prepared: when the lion drew near, he told his wife to have their children cry for fresh lion meat. When the lion heard the lynx’s children utter these terrifying words, he left hastily. The monkey urged the lion to return to his den, but again the lion heard the young lynxes shrieking for lion meat. Then the lynx said loudly that the monkey was his friend and would help lure the lion to the den so that the lynx could kill him. The lion, feeling frightened and betrayed, found the monkey, tore him to pieces, and never went near his den again.
On this page, we see the conversation between the lynx and his wife about the wolf, as well as the lion’s return. Flowering plants, feathery trees, magenta rocks, and a small stream complete the scene.
Opaque watercolor and ink on paper, Mughal (Akbar), 1580
From the Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck Collection.
Gift of Paul Mellon 68.8.47.
The "Tuti-nama" is a Persian text, originally composed by Ziya ad-Din Nakhshabi in Bada’un, India, in A.H. 730 (A.D. 1329/30).
This is the second page from the Chester Beatty "Tuti-nama".