Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya

summer elephants

Summer Elephants

Rajasthani, Bundi

Mid 18th Century CE


This particular painting is a remarkable and unique example of the depiction of the month of Jyestha or summer. The artist is undoubtedly a sensitive visualizer endowed with a creative imagination.

The painting is divided into three planes demarcated with the help of colours. Four elephants are shown in these planes. In the middle, on the yellow background, an elephant is depicted with raised trunk, intoxicated eyes and a curled tail, signs of anxiety. Agitated by the intolerable heat, the one behind the hillock seems to be rushing somewhere probably in search of water, and another is trying to climb a hillock. A scary monkey is on the top of the hillock while another is trying to take shelter on the bare tree on the left side. At the bottom, an elephant is shown enjoying the comforts of being in the cool waters of the lotus pond.

The artist has very effectively used the combination of orange and yellow to create an atmosphere of the burning summer of Rajasthan.