Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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Elephant and rider

  • loan
  • Description

    Outstanding elephants were highly prized by the Mughal rulers and are often mentioned in their memoirs or imperial histories. Portraits of these animals were also often commissioned. In this Shah Jahan period portrait, the elephant stands patiently in profile while his rider sits holding the ankus, a goad used to control elephants. The elephant has a sumptuous gold brocade saddle-cloth with lilies, tulips and other typical Mughal flowers.

  • Details

    Associated place
    AsiaIndia north India (place of creation)
    c. 1640
    Mughal Period (1526 - 1858)
    Associated people
    probably Shah Jahan (ruled 1628 - 1658) (commissioner)
    Material and technique
    gouache with gold on paper
    frame 43.9 x 52.7 x 1.8 cm (height x width x depth)
    painting 32.5 x 40.5 cm (height x width)
    Material index
    Technique index
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    No. of items
    Credit line
    Lent by Howard Hodgkin.
    Accession no.
  • Further reading

    Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2nd February-22nd April 2012, Visions of Mughal India: The Collection of Howard Hodgkin, Andrew Topsfield, ed. (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2012), no. 20 on p. 62, pp. 18 & 94, illus. p. 63

Past Exhibitions

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    • Returned to lender

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