A PAINTING OF GAJENDRA MOKSHA
A PAINTING OF GAJENDRA MOKSHA
1 More
Property from a West Coast Private Collection
A PAINTING OF GAJENDRA MOKSHA

INDIA, RAJASTHAN, BUNDI, CIRCA 1750

Details
A PAINTING OF GAJENDRA MOKSHA
INDIA, RAJASTHAN, BUNDI, CIRCA 1750
11 1/8 x 7 1/8 in. (28.3 x 18.1 cm.)
Provenance
R.E. Lewis, Inc., San Francisco.
John Yeon Collection, Portland, acquired from the above in 1959.
Literature
M.H. De Young Memorial Museum, Indian Miniature Paintings from West Coast Private Collections, San Francisco, 1964, cat. 43, plate VIII.
Exhibited
M.H. De Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco, Indian Miniature Paintings from West Coast Private Collections, 29 May-19 July 1964, cat. 43.
Portland Art Museum, Quest for Beauty: The Architecture, Landscape and Collections of John Yeon, 13 May-3 September 2017.

Brought to you by

Hannah Perry
Hannah Perry Associate Specialist

Lot Essay

Whilst going to pick lotus flowers, the elephant-king Gajendra was seized upon by a monstrous crocodile, or makara. Despite a long struggle, the creature would not let go and sensing that death had come to their king, the rest of the elephant herd turned to forsake him. In desperation Gajendra held a lotus flower aloft in a petition to Vishnu. Here we see the moment the god appears, preparing to throw his flaming chakra (disk) to decapitate the makara and rescue Gajendra. Symbolizing the victory of the solar principle over the water creature, Garuda, the man-eagle, is also present. This scene was popular in Vaishnava literature with the plight of the elephant 'symbolizing the inexorable entrapment of the human soul by worldly illusion, from which the invocation to Vishnu brings release’ (Andrew Topsfield, ed., In the Realm of Gods and Kings: Art of India - Selections from the Polsky Collections and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Asia Society and Museum, New York, 2004, p. 117). A painting of this scene from the Bikaner school sold recently at Christie’s London, 31 March 2022, lot 91 for 37,800 GBP.

More from Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Works of Art

View All
View All