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Ink Painting and the Rinpa Tradition

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Vishnu as Para Vasudeva-Narayana

Date:
last quarter of the 8th century
Culture:
India (Jammu & Kashmir, ancient kingdom of Kashmir)
Medium:
Stone
Dimensions:
H. 41 1/8 in. (104.5 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Purchase, Florence and Herbert Irving Gift, 1991
Accession Number:
1991.301
  • Description

    This complex form of Vishnu, known also as Vaikuntha Chaturmurti, is four-faced, with the heads of a lion (right) and a boar (left) flanking a human head. Carved in low relief on the back of the halo is a demonic, grimacing face with fangs and a vertical third eye on the forehead. The small attendant on Vishnu's left is Chakrapurusha, the personification of the war discus, originally balanced on his right by Gadadevi, the female personification of Vishnu's battle mace. The upper half of Prithvi, the earth goddess, stands between Vishnu's legs. This form of Vishnu portrays the god as the progenitor of the universe. From the eighth through the tenth century, this four-faced form of Vishnu was the most important cult icon in Kashmir.

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
38515

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