Collections: Asian Art: Mask of Ferocious Bhuta Deity

  • 1st Floor
    Arts of Africa, Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden
  • 2nd Floor
    Arts of Asia and the Islamic World
  • 3rd Floor
    Egyptian Art, European Paintings
  • 4th Floor
    Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
  • 5th Floor
    Luce Center for American Art

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    Mask of Ferocious Bhuta Deity

    Narasimha, the man-lion reincarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu, is the hero of a popular legend from Hindu mythology. In this legend the demon Hiranyakashipu had a boon from the god Brahma that he could not be killed by any human being, animal, or god; that he could not be killed during the day or night; that he could not be killed on the earth or in the sky; that he could not be killed by a weapon; and that he could not be killed either outside a house or inside one. With such a boon, he began to consider himself immortal and to oppress pious and religious people. He tortured his son Prahlad because he persisted in worshiping Vishnu. To save his devotee, Vishnu incarnated himself with the face and head of a lion and the body of a man. He annihilated Hiranyakashipu at dusk on the threshold of his house by tearing open his stomach with his claws, thus avoiding the terms of Brahma's boon.

    • Medium: Brass
    • Dates: ca. 18th century
    • Dimensions: approx. height: 19 in. (48.3 cm)  (show scale)
    • Collections:Asian Art
    • Museum Location: This item is on view in Brooklyn Museum, BMA, EXHIBITION-2, Open Storage 2R44 - India Shelf C1
    • Accession Number: 1996.24
    • Credit Line: Purchased gift of Dr. Bertram H. Schaffner
    • Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
    • Caption: Mask of Ferocious Bhuta Deity, ca. 18th century. Brass, approx. height: 19 in. (48.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased gift of Dr. Bertram H. Schaffner, 1996.24. Creative Commons-BY
    • Image: overall, 1996.24_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    • Record Completeness: Good (61%)
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