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Title

Narasimha killing Hiranyakasipu

circa 1690-1700


Artist

attrib. Devidasa

India


About

Narasimha is the fourth avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu. Here he is attacking the demon Hiranyakasipu. Their location between courtyard pillars is significant as the god Brahma promised Hiranyakasipu that he could not be killed by a human or animal, on earth or in the heavens, inside or outside. Hiranyakasipu swore revenge on Vishnu who, in his boar-headed form Varaha, had killed the demon’s brother Hiranyaksa. In order to defeat Hiranyakasipu, Vishnu took a half human, half lion form, laid the creature across his thighs and killed him with his claws on a threshold at twilight.

The demon’s son Prahlada was a devotee of Vishnu and it was Prahlada’s prayers that called the god to conquer Hiranyakasipu. Prahlada appears beside Narasimha and his victim with his hands held together around a board inscribed with a prayer to Vishnu.


Details


Place where the work was made

India


Date

circa 1690-1700


Media category

Painting


Materials used

opaque pigments and gold on paper


Dimensions

17.0 x 18.0 cm image; 20.2 x 20.9 cm sheet


Credit

Peter and Pam Binnie Bequest, purchased 2020


Location

Not on display


Accession number

127.2020


Artist information

attrib. Devidasa

Works in the collection

1


Place

Where the work was made
India