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Varaha Rescuing Bhu Devi

Asian Art

On View: Great Hall, 1st Floor
The Hindu god Vishnu is said to have descended from heaven several times in order to save mankind. When he descends he assumes special forms, called avatars. He once became a boar, named Varaha, and plunged to the bottom of the primordial ocean to retrieve the drowning earth.

This image of Varaha shows him with the earth (in the form of a goddess) seated on his shoulder. He has the head of a boar, but the four arms and superhuman body of the god Vishnu, and his raised foot suggests that he is stepping out of the ocean.
DATES c. 14th-15th century
DIMENSIONS 12 3/4 x 7 3/4 x 5 1/8 in. (32.4 x 19.7 x 13 cm)  (show scale)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Great Hall, 1st Floor
CREDIT LINE Gift of Paul E. Manheim
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CAPTION Varaha Rescuing Bhu Devi, c. 14th-15th century. Bronze, 12 3/4 x 7 3/4 x 5 1/8 in. (32.4 x 19.7 x 13 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Paul E. Manheim, 78.259.1. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE overall, 78.259.1_back_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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