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A Prince Restrains a Rampaging Elephant

c. 1780
Artist/maker unknown, Indian
From early in Indian history, elephant training was considered a science and entire books were written on the subject. Elephant combats of various sorts were a popular sport among Indian rulers. Elephants, however, have a tendency to become enraged if hurt, startled, or during breeding times and this elephant has clearly run amok. Nothing deters him: not the pointed goad wielded by his princely rider, nor the whirling firecrackers of his keepers, nor the whip of a rider whose black horse shies from the enraged beast....

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