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recto: Vishnu reclining on the cosmic serpent with 4 visiting devotees verso: Vishnu seated in a temple with 5 visiting devotees

late 18th century-early 19th century


Unknown Artist

No image
  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Datia Madhya Pradesh India
    late 18th century-early 19th century
    Media category
    Materials used
    opaque watercolour and ink on paper; double sided
    13.0 x 28.0 cm image; 19.0 x 35.5 cm sheet
    Gift of Dr J Masselos 2021
    Not on display
    Accession number
  • About

    Painted and inscribed on both sides, this page from a sacred Bhagavata Purana text illustrates the love of the Hindu god Vishnu and his consort Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, as they float atop the cosmic waters. The blue-skinned 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.