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Stele of Vishnu: Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
The Pala kings of northeastern India sponsored the construction and sculptural decoration of numerous Buddhist and Hindu temples during their stable and prosperous dynasty (730-1200). This image of Vishnu, the god of preservation, originally adorned the walls of such a temple complex. The erect Vishnu on a lotus pedestal symbolizes the axis of the universe; he is flanked here by his principal consorts, Lakshmi and Sarasvati. The deity's four hands hold his traditional attributes: the mace, sun disk (cakra), conch, and lotus blossom. Worshipful devotees are shown at the base, while across the background arch appear the ten incarnations of Vishnu, each reflecting a different form the god assumed in rescuing the world from evil. In the background are various animals and mythical creatures, such as elephants, lions, and makaras. Near the top, the masklike "face of glory" signals spiritual security for the devotee.
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Type: Commentary, Gallery Label - Current
Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: November 18, 2011