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Seated Vishnu

Asian Art

Praying before an icon of a Hindu god is like having an audience with a king: the worshipper bows and brings praise and offerings in hope of finding favor. Seated images of Vishnu often invite comparison to an enthroned ruler: the god sits with one leg pendent, a pose associated in Indian culture with royalty and a state of casual ease. His posture, his smile, and the way that he leans slightly forward all suggest that he is happy to speak with the visitor. He holds the conch shell and discus (here shown in profile), which emit small flames, an indication of their great power.
MEDIUM Granite
DATES 8th-9th Century
PERIOD Pallava-Early Chola Dynasty
DIMENSIONS 60 x 29 x 12 in., 900 lb. (152.4 x 73.7 x 30.5 cm, 408.24kg)  (show scale)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Gift of Alice Boney
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CAPTION Seated Vishnu, 8th-9th Century. Granite, 60 x 29 x 12 in., 900 lb. (152.4 x 73.7 x 30.5 cm, 408.24kg). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Alice Boney, 86.133. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE overall, 86.133_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
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Seated Vishnu