Medium and Support:
Gift of Harold B. and Margaret E. Canavan
4 9/16 in. x 6 5/8 in. x 2 5/8 in. (11.59 cm x 16.83 cm x 6.67 cm)
Currently on view
Images of “washing the elephant” appear in Chinese art by the fourteenth century, but its sources and meaning are not clear. This sculpture is a typical version of the subject, which shows foreign figures as grooms in the process of washing down and attending to a contented white elephant, who is elaborately caparisoned with bridles, hip straps, and richly ornamented rugs.
Last Updated: 7/16/2013