Asian Tribal Art - Vishnu, India

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Seated Vishnu
Lost wax cast bronze
4 1/8" (10.4 cm) high
18th century

Vishnu is one of the principal Hindu Gods, worshiped as the protector and preserver of the world and restorer of dharma (moral order).  Vishnu is known chiefly through his avatars (incarnations), particularly Rama, Krishna and Buddha.  In theory, Vishnu manifests a portion of himself anytime he is needed to fight evil, and his appearances are innumerable; ten incarnations of Vishnu are most commonly recognized. Here he sits in the meditation posture dhyanasana atop a lotus with large petals and a border of pearls; it is uncommon to see Vishnu seated this way. His lower hands firmly grip a club and a lotus, while the upper hands lightly hold the wheel and the conch shell. 


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