Help us bring life to art, and art to lives. Make a donation.

Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Vishnu with His Consorts, Lakshmi and Sarasvati

Pala period
11th–12th century
India (Bihar or West Bengal) or Bangladesh
Black stone
H. 7 ft. 2 in. (218.4 cm); W. 53 11/16 in. (136.3 cm); D. 1 7/8 in. (30.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Bequest of Cora Timken Burnett, 1956
Accession Number:
Not on view
In this extremely large sculpture, the Hindu god Vishnu is attended by his two consorts: to his left, Sarasvati, the goddess of poetry and music; to his right, Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune. The architectural ensemble in which they stand is inhabited by a series of gods, demigods, ascetics, and worshipers. Two river goddesses stand at the base of the columns. Beyond them, at the outer edges in niches, are figures representing the weapons of Vishnu in human form: Gadadevi (his mace) and Chakrapurusha (his war discus). Ganesha occupies the niche at the top left corner; Karttikeya occupies the corresponding spot on the right. The two inner niches house Shiva (left) and Brahma (right).
Cora Timken Burnett 1872–1956 , Alpine, NJ (by 1946 until d. 1956; bequeathed to MMA)
Related Objects

Loving Couple (Mithuna)

Date: 13th century Medium: Ferruginous stone Accession: 1970.44 On view in:Gallery 241


Date: 11th–12th century Medium: Black stone Accession: 1996.465 On view in:Gallery 238

Eight great events stele

Date: 11th–12th century Medium: Stone Accession: 2015.782.3 On view in:Gallery 238

Model of the Mahabodhi Temple

Date: 12th century Medium: Stone Accession: 2006.218 On view in:Gallery 238

Vishnu Flanked by His Personified Attributes

Date: early 9th century Medium: Bronze Accession: 2015.500.4.10 On view in:Gallery 238