Panel from a temple hanging: recto: crowned god Balarama; verso: Vishnu

Detail of a pattern
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At A Glance

  • Period

    early 18th century
  • Geography

    Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh state, India
  • Material

    Opaque watercolor, gold, and paper applique on cotton
  • Dimension

    H x W (overall): 21.7 x 12.4 cm (8 9/16 x 4 7/8 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • School/Tradition

    South Indian School
  • Description

    The recto features the crowned figure of Balarama, half brother of god Krishna, who frequently features in south India as one of the ten incarnations of Vishnu. Holding his identifying attribute, the hala or ploughshare, Balarama directly faces the viewer, standing erect on a pedestal beneath a canopy of flower garlands and individual pendant flowers including full lotus buds. On the reverse is the standing form of the deep blue god Vishnu, in the form in which he is enshrined in the famous temple at Tirupati. Framed by a tiruvatchi or aureole crowned by a lion-head, he holds discus and conch shell in his two rear hands, while one front hand is in the varada gesture of wish-granting and the other rests lightly on his thigh.
  • Collection

    National Museum of Asian Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Changing Tastes: Indian Paintings of the 18th and 19th Century (December 17, 2000 to July 15, 2001)
  • Origin

    Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh state, India
  • Credit Line

    Gift of Terence McInerney
  • Type

  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

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