A holy man with two tigers

Illustration of a proverb, c. 1860-65. There are two conflicting interpretations of this baffling picture. One is that ‘you cannot propitiate a tiger by prayer’. The other says – ‘before a truely godly spirit even the wildest beasts of the forest are tame’. Two fully grown tigers holding offerings make obeisance to a holy man. Note a meek dove in the foreground bearing its own offering of a fruit in its beak

Watercolour and graphite on paper


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Wellcome Collection

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