Vishnu and Attendants (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

ca. 1050-1100
Indian, probably West Bengal
Black phyllite
Bangaladesh
Overall: 34 1/2 × 16 1/2 × 4 in. (87.63 × 41.91 × 10.16 cm)
Weight: 100 lb. (45.4 kg)
2015.198
Steles like this and those to the right were once installed in wall niches to decorate and ritually activate religious structures, most of which were built of brick and have since been destroyed. The large figure at the center is the great Hindu god Vishnu. In his upper hands he wields a mace and discus. Resting before blooming lotuses, one of his lower hands holds a conch while the other extends in a gift-giving gesture. Flanking Vishnu, and like him standing on lotus pedestals, are Lakshmi and Saravasti, the goddesses of wealth and learning. Smaller figures include the garland-bearing celestials above as well as a donor and Vishnu’s man-bird mount Garuda, seen kneeling on the sculpture’s base in attitudes of devotion.
Gift of Drs. Gurpal S. Bhuller and Neena G. Singh
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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