The Mullah Do-Piyaza on an emaciated donkey
Pigments on paper
India, Deccan, First Half of the 19th century
Height: 18; Width: 25,4 cm
Provenance: formerly in the collection of S. E. Jean Pozzi. Enrico Isacco collection. Françoise and Claude Bourelier collection
This amusing picture is depicting the famous Mullah Do-Piyaza named after a meal using onions. He is depicted on a skinny horse wearing the large turban Taj Haydari.
This humorous character is supposed to have lived at the times of Akbar and to have been one of his close friends. He is described as witty and is said to have risen to the top of the court from a very low level. This character is mainly described in folk tales of the late 19th century and is considered by most scholars as purely fictional.
Another painting with the same subject kept in the collections of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France is published in: Hurel, R., Exhibition catalogue, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris (10th March – 6th June 2010) Miniatures et peintures indiennes – Collection du département des Estampes et de la Photographie de la Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris: BNF, Volume I, p. 96, N°102.