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Two-Sided Devotional Plaque (Vishnupatta)

Asian Art

  • Place Made: Bihar, India
  • DATES 10th-11th century
    PERIOD Pala Period
    DIMENSIONS 6 5/8 x 6 1/2 x 1 1/8 in. (16.8 x 16.5 x 2.9 cm)
    CREDIT LINE Bequest of Dr. Samuel Eilenberg
    PROVENANCE Prior to 1998, provenance not yet documented; by 1998, acquired by Samuel Eilenberg of New York; 1998, bequeathed by Samuel Eilenberg to the Brooklyn Museum; April 6, 2021, accessioned by the Brooklyn Museum.
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    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Vishnupatta. Two-sided devotional object, carved in black stone in low relief. On one side the primary design is a lotus with the ten avatars of the Hindu god Vishnu, each standing in a different petal. A lotus and central knob protrude from the center. On the other side a seated deity, presumably Vishnu, is surrounded by a geometric frame with standing consorts in niches at either side, an image of Lakshmi being lustrated by elephants above, and small kneeling devotees at the bottom. Each side can be read as a rudimentary mandala, but neither the ritual context in which these objects were used, nor the prayers that would have been recited during use, is certain. Similar objects exist in metal.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
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