The description in English of the painting on this webage is the definitive description. Any translation using Google translate is a guide only - its accuracy cannot be guaranteed and it is used at your own risk.
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Mullah do Piaza on an emaciated donkey. Awadh, circa late 18th century. Opaque watercolour with gold and silver on a double-sided album page the reverse with repeating leaf and flower forms. Folio 31.9 x 21.5; image 18.4 x 13cm
Mullah do Piaza is said to have been a close friend of Mughal Emperor Akbar due to his wit and humour, rising through the ranks from poultry keeper to librarian, and noted for his interest in cooking. However his is an enigmatic figure. Although he has a tomb at Handia, is said to have suffered from achondroplasia (hence being depicted with short arms and legs) and has been recorded as living from 1540-1600, many scholars doubt these are facts believing instead that he was nothing more than a fictional character.
The painting's composition refers closely to a Deccani portrait circa early 18th century sold at Christie's New York, 21st March 2008, lot 715
With thanks to the kindness of Ludwig Habighorst for identifying Mullah do Piaza
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Images above, below: gilt and silver detail reflecting light
Images and text © Peter Blohm