Exhibitions/ Art Object

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

late 19th century
India (Rajasthan, Kotah)
Ink and wash on paper
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)
Credit Line:
Gift of Subhash Kapoor, in memory of his parents, Smt Shashi Kanta and Shree Parshotam Ram Kapoor, 2008
Accession Number:
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).
Possibly Shri Parshotam Ram Kapoor , Jalandhar and New Delhi, India; Subhash Kapoor , New York (until 2008; donated to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Living Line: Selected Indian Drawings from the Subhash Kapoor Gift," March 25, 2009–September 7, 2009.

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