Vishnu with Consorts

Historical period(s)
Pala-Sena dynasty, 12th century
Medium
Black schist
Dimensions
H x W x D: 95.2 x 42 x 14 cm (37 1/2 x 16 9/16 x 5 1/2 in) H (with tang): 108.7 cm (42 13/16 in)
Geography
India, Bengal or Bihar
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1927.7
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Sculpture, Stone
Type

Relief

Keywords
apsara, conch shell, fly whisk, Garuda, India, Lakshmi, mace, Pala-Sena dynasty (750 - 1100), Sarasvati, schist, sudarshana chakra, Vishnu
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

This stone stele features the Hindu god Vishnu, who may be recognized by his specific attributes. The mace and discus in his upper hands are his royal weapons, while the lotus and conch shell in his lower hands represent respectively purity and the watery origins of life. The crowned god stands surrounded by hovering celestial beings and flanked by Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune, who carries a fly whisk, as well as Sarasvati, goddess of knowledge, who holds a musical instrument. Garuda, Vishnu's eagle vehicle, kneels to the left of the double-lotus base. This stone stele would once have occupied a niche in the outer walls of a temple dedicated to Vishnu.

Published References
  • Aschwin Lippe. The Freer Indian Sculptures. Oriental Studies Series, no. 8 Washington, 1970. pl. 38-39.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.