Animal combats were a favorite form of entertainment at the Mughal court, viewed by the emperor, his courtiers, and guests from a terrace or rampart. Miskin, Akbar's best animal painter, may well have sketched this scene from life. While he has captured the excitement of the fiercely partisan royal servants on the ground, they look unsubstantial compared to the thrusting power of the buffaloes' bodies. The rounded haunch, the long straight line of the back, the bulging muscles of shoulder and neck of the animal on the left all point to inexorable victory, already sensed by the other, pushed off balance, with a foreleg curling under him. Only a great artist could give the struggle such a palpable presence.
Lt.-Col. Wingate Wemyss-Muir(until 1952; sale, Sotheby's, London,November 24, 1952, no. 107); Hagop Kevorkian, New York (until d. 1962; sale, Sotheby's, NewYork, December 15, 1962, no. 285, to Heeramaneck); [ Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck, New York, from 1962; sold to Humann]; Christian Humann (Panasian Collection), New York(until 1983; sale, Sotheby's, London,June 20, 1983, no. 143, to MMA)
"Elmi." In Illustrated Catalogue of the Uboldo Collection: Milan. Vol. I.
"December 15, 1962." In Classical and Near Eastern Art Collected by the Late Hagop Kevorkian. London: Parke-Bernet Galleries, 1962. no. 285.
Welch, Stuart Cary. The Islamic World. vol. 11. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. p. 136, ill. fig. 104 (color).
Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 41 (1983-1984). p. 6-7, ill. (color).
Sotheby's, London. "June 20, 1983." In Fine Oriental Miniatures and Manuscripts, including Drawings from the Pan Asian Collection. London, 1983. no. 143, ill. fig. 143 (color).
Welch, Stuart Cary. "Art and Culture 1300–1900." In India!. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1985. no. 103, p. 167, ill. (b/w).
Okada, Amina. Imperial Mughal Painters: Indian Miniatures from the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Paris: Flammarion, 1992. p. 137, ill. fig. 154 (b/w).