Folio from the Kathasaritsagara

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 463

This folio is from a vast compilation of tales in Sanskrit written by the eleventh-century poet Somadeva for the amusement of the Kashmiri queen Suryamati, and translated into Persian for Akbar (r. 1556–1605) in the late sixteenth century. Exactly which of the hundreds of Somadeva’s stories is depicted here has yet to be determined, but the action appears typical of these tales, which are fantastic and unusually complicated, involving many twists and turns.

Folio from the Kathasaritsagara, Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper

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