Posted on: 5 July 2013

The Gazi Scroll
1800 (circa)

Painted scroll, 'pata'. Fifty-four registers illustrating the story of miracle-working Muslims saints, including Gazi and Manik. One of the scenes shows a rich merchant's ocean-going ship under sail. Other registers show a figure riding a tiger and carrying a serpent-staff, who is probably the Muslim saint Gazi Pir; the tomb of a Muslim saint, attended by a devotee (hanging above the tomb is a cloth, apparently made up of scraps of different-coloured textile sewn together, which is the cloth given by a senior Sufi to his disciple as a mark of continuity of teaching); a composite figure which might be Chaitanya (Krishna beyond and Radha) or maybe the joint Vishnu and Śiva deity, Harihara; a river crocodile, perhaps meant to represent the vehicle of the goddess of the Ganges; or a saint (probably Manik Pir), wearing the distinctive robe of the Sufi, carrying manuscripts beneath his arms and causing the barren cow to give milk. Painted on paper, mounted on cotton.

© Trustees of the British Museum

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