A despotic sultan who was blind in one eye invited three artists to paint his picture. “If you do a bad portrait, I will punish you,” he warned, “ but if you do a good one I will reward you. Now start!”
The first artist produced a picture that showed the sultan as he was: blind in one eye. The sultan had him executed for showing disrespect to his monarch.
The second artist showed him with both eyes intact. The sultan had him flogged for trying to flatter him.
The third artist drew him in profile view, showing only his good eye. The sultan, pleased, rewarded him with gold and honors.