Lakshminarayana (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

15th-16th century
gilded copper alloy, gemstones
Overall: 8 1/2 × 4 3/4 × 2 in. (21.59 × 12.07 × 5.08 cm)
Hindu deities are often depicted as half male and half female to express their all-encompassing greatness, which transcends all conventional dualities. This image combines the god Vishnu and his consort Lakshmi into a single form known as Lakshminarayana. The deity’s left side has a woman’s breast, wears a woman’s earring, and holds a brimming pot, a mirror, and other attributes associated with Lakshmi. Its right side has a flat chest, wears a man’s earring, and holds a mace, a discus, and other attributes of Vishnu.
Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck Collection, Gift of Paul Mellon
Gairola, C. Krishna. "Nepalese Bronzes in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts." Oriental Art XXIV, no. 3, 1978, 317-325.
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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