The Son Who Mourned His Father: Folio from the Mantiq al–tair (The Language of the Birds) of Farid al–Din 'Attar, Timurid period (1370–1507), dated A.H. 892 / a.d. 1487
Present–day Afghanistan, Herat
Opaque watercolor, silver, and gold on paper; page: H. 13 in. (33 cm), W. 8 1/2 in. (21.6 cm)
Fletcher Fund, 1963 (63.210.35)
This illustration is associated with a story related by the hoopoe as a response to a bird who complains about his fear of death. In the story, a son grieves the death of his father in front of his coffin and a sufi soothes him, explaining that his father had experienced much pain and that no one can avoid death. Here, the painter depicts the incident as occurring in front of a cemetery gate. The scene behind the gate is replete with motifs that are irrelevant to the story itself. The viewer at the court may have enjoyed deciphering them.