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Jahangir Watching an Elephant Fight

Object Name:
Illustrated single work
Date:
ca. 1605
Geography:
India
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Main support: Ink, opaque watercolor, gold on paper Margins: Gold on dyed paper
Dimensions:
18 1/2 x 12 7/8in. (47 x 32.7cm) Mat: H. 22 1/4 in. (56.5 cm) W. 16 1/4 in. (41.3 cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1912
Accession Number:
12.223.2
  • Description

    Elephants were prized for their strength and power in Mughal India, where they were used for hunting, military campaigns, and sport. In this work painted by Farrukh Chela, two mounted men control the elephants, which are adorned with gold chains, as they fight before an audience. Servants standing to the right watch as one of the riders drops his ankush (a metal rod used to control elephants). They hold fireworks on poles, prepared to help direct the elephant if necessary. Wearing rich gold and deep colors, Emperor Jahangir appears on horseback in the foreground. The margins of this page were added later, when the painting was inserted into an album shortly after Nadir Shah took control of Delhi in 1739.

  • Provenance

    [ E. Kalebdjian, New York, until 1912; sold to MMA]

  • See also
    What
    Where
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
446266:4

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