Three Noblemen in Procession on an Elephant

Painting by Venkatchellum

Not on view

A gaudily painted elephant carries an important nobleman and his attendants who are seated under a howdah. Around them march armies of Indian soldiers, wearing turbans and carrying swords, spears and standards ahead, while the rear is held up by another squad dressed in British army uniform. The identity of the nobleman is unknown as the identifying inscription on the domed canopy has flaked off. However, we can attribute the painting to Venkatchellam, a leading artist based at the Hyderabad court of Nizam ‘Ali Khan in the eighteenth century. A confident colorist, he relieves the formality by introducing lively villagers below who celebrate the parade.

Three Noblemen in Procession on an Elephant, Painting by Venkatchellum (Indian, active 1780s–90s), Opaque watercolor and gold on paper

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