This painting illustrates a passage of the "Compendium of History", which Hafiz-i Abru composed by the order of Shah Rukh, the Timurid ruler of Herat. The text narrates the story of Sakyamuni, a name for Buddhha, who with his followers and servants goes through the jungle. When they see a bird in its nest in a tree, the men decide to repose in the tree’s shade. There, Buddha answers his followers’ questions: ‘who will proceed you as the next prophet?’ and ‘what will he be like?’.
Emile Tabbagh, Paris (by 1926–d. 1936; his estate sale,Anderson Galleries, New York, 3–4 January, 1936,no. 194, to Kevorkian); [ Hagop Kevorkian, New York, 1936–ca. 1940; sold to Burnett]; Cora Timken Burnett, Alpine, NJ (by 1940–d. 1956; bequeathed to MMA)
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. "Special Persian Exhibition," 1926, no. 431 b.
London. Burlington House. "International Exhibition of Persian Art," January 7, 1931–February 28, 1931, no. 431B.
de Young Museum, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. "Exhibition of Islamic Art," February 24, 1937–March 22, 1937, no. 45.
The Iranian Institute. "Exhibition of Persian Art," 1940, Gal. VII, 74E.
Pope, Arthur Upham. "Special Persian Exhibition." Bulletin of the Pennsylvania Museum Vol. XXII, no. 107 (November 1926). pp. 245-251.
Wilson, Arnold T. "7th January to 28th February, 1931." In Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Persian Art. 3rd. ed. London: Royal Academy of Arts, 1931. no. 431B, p. 233.
Anderson Galleries, Inc. Emile Tabbagh Collection. New York, January 4, 1936. no. 194.
Aga-Oglu, Mehmet. "M. H. De Young Memorial Museum, February 24 to March 22, 1937." In Exhibition of Islamic Art. San Francisco, 1937. no. 45, p. 29.
Harari, Ralph, and Richard Ettinghausen. A Survey of Persian Art from Prehistoric Times to the Present, edited by Arthur Upham Pope. Vol. I-VI. London and New York: Oxford University Press, 1938.
Ackerman, Phyllis. "The Iranian Institute, New York." In Guide to the Exhibition of Persian Art. 2nd. ed. New York: The Iranian Institute, 1940. no. Gallery VII, case 74E, p. 191.