We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Vishnu reclining on the serpent Shesha with Lakshmi in attendance

19th century


Unknown Artist

  • Details

    Other Title
    Vishnu and Laxmi resting on serpent god Sheshnag
    Place where the work was made
    Jaipur Rajasthan India
    Rajput circa 1500 - 1947 → India
    19th century
    Media categories
    Miniature , Painting , Watercolour
    Materials used
    opaque watercolour with gold on paper
    19.1 x 26.5 cm image; 23.6 x 31.0 cm sheet
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Bequest of Mr J. Kitto 1986
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

  • About

    This scene from the sacred Bhagavata Purana text illustrates the love of Vishnu and his consort Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, as they float atop the cosmic waters. The blue-skinned Hindu god Vishnu is shown reclining on the giant serpent Ananta Shesha (everlasting serpent). In Vishnu’s four hands he holds his attributes – a discus, mace, lotus blossom and conch shell. Vishnu’s feet rest in Lakshmi’s lap. Their union represents the creation of the world symbolised by the birth of Brahma, the four-headed god of creation. Brahma can be seen emerging from the lotus flower growing from Vishnu’s navel.

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

    • Glorious, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 May 2017–06 Jan 2019

    • In one drop of water, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 Jun 2019–21 Feb 2021