Thursday 4 June 2009
While the subject matter of two have been easy to identify, I have been unable to find the exact meaning of the subject matter of this work, which we have tentatively called 'Attack on an elephant'. The work is painted in gouache, and there are two pieces of writing on the margins which may or may not help us identify the theme. There is also an inscription which says Of Hindu Music / Hamell Kanara Raqun 145. The red border indicates that this work was painted in India.
Writing at the top.
The elephant was an important symbol in Indian lore. One possibility is that the narrative relates to a tale in which Lord Buddha was incarnated as a white elephant only to have his tusks removed by a greedy forester. However, that tale doesn't mention the removal of the elephant's trunk, and the figures appear to be Mughal.
If you know anyone who can read this script and who could help us solve this mystery we would love to hear from you.