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Varaha Rescuing the Earth, page from an illustrated Dasavatara series

Asian Art

This painting of the Varaha story shares several common elements with the two adjacent examples, which offer different solutions to the question of how to depict a fantastic, multi-episode story on a single small page. All three represent the earth as a landmass (rather than a goddess), balanced on Varaha’s head, and all make reference to the battle with the demon Hayagriva, although they signal his defeat in different ways. One artist completely ignores the aquatic setting, while the other two tackle the challenge of depicting water and partially submerged figures.
MEDIUM Opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper
DATES ca. 1730–1740
DIMENSIONS Sheet: 10 1/2 x 8 1/8 in. (26.7 x 20.6 cm) Other (Image): 8 3/8 x 6 3/16 in. (21.3 x 15.7 cm) Other: 14 1/4 x 19 1/4in. (36.2 x 48.9cm)  (show scale)
INSCRIPTIONS Inscriptions: Takri caption on top red margin, in white pigment: Wondrous Vishnu, wondrous Varaha.
CREDIT LINE Brooklyn Museum Collection
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Indian. Varaha Rescuing the Earth, page from an illustrated Dasavatara series, ca. 1730–1740. Opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper, Sheet: 10 1/2 x 8 1/8 in. (26.7 x 20.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Museum Collection, 41.1026 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 41.1026_bw_IMLS.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 41.1026_bw_IMLS.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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