Exhibitions/ Art Object

The Elephant King Wrestles a Crocodile: Illustration from a Gajendramoksha Series

Date:
late 19th century
Culture:
India (Rajasthan, Kotah)
Medium:
Ink and wash on paper
Dimensions:
Image (sight): 16 1/4 x 16 1/2 in. (41.3 x 41.9 cm) Framed: 24 x 26 in. (61 x 66 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of Subhash Kapoor, in memory of his parents, Smt Shashi Kanta and Shree Parshotam Ram Kapoor, 2008
Accession Number:
2008.359.53
Not on view
The sketch illustrates the story of the king Gajendra, who had been cursed and transformed into an elephant. One day, a crocodile seized his leg, and it was not until Gajendra appealed to Vishnu that he was saved and reached a state of moksha. This story is a metaphor likening the ignorance of the king to that of an elephant and suggests it is overcome only through unfettered devotion (bhakti).
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