Historical period(s)
ca. 13th century
Hoysala school
Chloritic schist
H x W x D: 111 x 58.6 x 29 cm (43 11/16 x 23 1/16 x 11 7/16 in)
India, Karnataka state
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


Bhudevi, chakra, conch shell, India, Keshava, lotus, mace, Sridevi, Vishnu
Provenance research underway.

This stone image of Keshava ("long-haired"), one of the Chaturvimshatimurti (Twenty-four Forms of Vishnu), is carved in the Hoysala style. Images of Chaturvimshatimurti are prevalent in Vaishnava temples, particularly those in South India and the difference between any two of these lies in the arrangement of the attributes held in each arm. Thus, Keshava (also known as Chenna Keshava) who is the first of the 24 images, holds the sankha (conch shell), chakra (discus), gadha (mace) and padma (lotus) in his upper right, upper left, lower left and lower right hands respectively. The chakra is represented here with four points and symbolizes universal supremacy. The gadha is a symbol of strength and power and the padma is an emblem of creation.

Vishnu stands on a lotus against an ornate stone base which is characteristic of the Hoysala style. The prabhavali is made up of an ornate vegetal arch. The figure wears a multi-tiered crown and is heavily bejeweled. In either side are his consorts; Sridevi to his right and Bhudevi to his left, both of them represented standing and with lotus flowers in their hands.

Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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