Elephant Stories. Miniature Paintings from Mughal India (Pergammonmuseum)

Date of event:   27/06/2019 − 11/08/2019

14.06.2019 to 11.08.2019

A complex history of the relationships between humans and elephants

In other parts of the Islamic world, elephants were used in warfare, placed on display or studied in treatises on natural history. However first-hand knowledge about the animals was less widespread, and fantastical myths circulated about their magical abilities, such as the story about the unicorn that hunted elephants. Depictions of these mythic or symbolic aspects of popular conceptions of elephants can be found in architectural décor and on everyday objects.

This exhibition illustrates various aspects of this complex history of the relationship between humans and elephants. In addition to sheets from albums from seventeenth-century Mughal India, the exhibition will also feature Iranian ceramic tiles and Egyptian lustreware. Brief excerpts from original texts provide background information about the pictures.

For more information, please click here.

Mughal school, Emperor Akbar riding his favourite elephant, detail, 1609–1610, opaque watercolour and gold on paper © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Museum für Islamische Kunst / Christian Krug

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