On a dark night of the fifth day of the month of Magasar (November-December) the royal elephant Madar Bagas has gone out of control while in rut. Only an artist like Chokha who excelled in recreating atmosphere and the mood of the moment in his paintings, could capture such a scene. He has subtly used shades of black and grey, and the technique of heavy stippling and fine lines to enhance the body contours of the elephant.
All four legs of the elephant are heavily chained, making it impossible for him to free even one of them. The person standing in front of him is trying to control him with firecrackers. The people working around appear tiny insignificant creatures in front of the mad, but majestic elephant. The white tusks against the dark background emphasize his fierceness. The shimmering metal chains glow in the light of the firecrackers thrown at him. The dark sky is dotted with tiny, glittering stars. The artist has emphasized the pinkish swollen gland between the ear and the eye of the elephant to suggest his state of musth which generally occurs in the winter months from November to January.


  • Title: Elephant in mush
  • Date Created: 1811 CE
  • Physical Dimensions: 22.7 x 33.2 cms
  • Region: Thikana Deogarh
  • Artist: Chokha
  • Accession Number: 2009.118

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps