Purchase, The Charles Engelhard Foundation Gift, in memory of Charles Engelhard, 1984
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 239
This monumental sculpture — the largest in the Museum’s South Asian collection — is a rare example of the art of the Pandya dynasty, which, along with the Pallava dynasty, initiated the first great phase of temple building in South India. Vishnu sits on a lion throne in the relaxed, regal posture of lalitasana. His role in Hinduism is to restore order to the human world and to combat evils that threaten the stability of the universe. He originally held a conch (used as a battle trumpet) in his upper left hand and a war discus in his upper right, and his lower right hand was raised in abhaya-mudra.
[ Rama Murti , Madras, India, until 1968, sold to Essajees ]; ; [ Essajees , Mumbai, until 1968, sold to the Narangs ]; ; [ The Narangs , New York and London, until 1970, sold to Spink & Son ]; ; [ Spink & Son Ltd. , London, until 1984; sold to MMA ]