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Scenes from the legend of Gazi
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This type of long scroll-painting was used by itinerant storytellers in rural Bengal as a visual aid to a spoken narration. Storytelling using painted scrolls or panels has a long history in India and is known from at least the second century BC.

This particular scroll was probably made in about AD 1800. Stylistically, the painting belongs to the period before the influence of European artistic conventions.

The 57 pictures of this remarkable scroll-painting may depict the many epic activities of Gazi, a Bengali islamic pir (saint). Gazi had the amazing ability to control the elements of the natural world and his adventures include fighting with demons, overpowering dangerous animals and miraculously causing cattle to give milk. Gazi was alsp renowned for his power over tigers, so this panel probably depicts Gazi himself.

Scenes from the legend of Gazi

From Bengal, perhaps the Murshidabad district, India, c. AD 1800.
Purchased through the Art Fund.

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