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THE TEMPTATION OF ERIJ. Victoria and Albert Museum
THE TEMPTATION OF ERIJ


An example of the series of large illustrations to the Hamza-nama, painted on cotton. The incident depicted relates to one of the legends in the book. The young Erij, bound in the branches of a tree, is fighting against the spell of the magician Ankarat, who, in the form of a woman, is seated in another tree at a lower level.
The picture is a dramatic one, and the magician's confident gestures, as she casts her spell, are powerfully contrasted with the young man's anguished efforts. The artist has at the same time made of his design an elaborate study of trees, foliage and flowers. Both in the generally sombre tonality, and in the pervading realism, there is wide divergence from Persian tradition, from which, however, Mughal painting had only partly emancipated itself at the time. Other paintings in the series are much more Persian in character. This, however, in both composition and colour is one of the finest