Artist unknown / Stele of Vishnu / 11th centuryArtist unknown
Stele of Vishnu
11th century

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Creator Name: Unknown
Creator Nationality: Asian; Indian Sub-Continent; Indian
Creator Role: Sculptor
Creator Name-CRT: Artist unknown
Title: Stele of Vishnu
View: front
Creation Start Date: 1000
Creation End Date: 1099
Creation Date: 11th century
Object Type: Sculpture
Classification Term: stele
Materials and Techniques: Grey schist
Dimensions: H.48 x W.22 x D.8 in.
AMICA Contributor: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Owner Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
ID Number: 90.67
Credit Line: The John R. Van Derlip Fund

The Pala kings of northeastern India sponsored the construction and sculptural decoration of numerous Buddhist and Hindu temples during their stable and prosperous dynasty (730-1200). This image of Vishnu, the god of preservation, originally adorned the walls of such a temple complex. The erect Vishnu on a lotus pedestal symbolizes the axis of the universe; he is flanked here by his principal consorts, Lakshmi and Sarasvati. The deity's four hands hold his traditional attributes: the mace, sun disk (cakra), conch and lotus blossom. Worshipful devotees are shown at the base, while across the background arch appear the ten incarnations of Vishnu, each reflecting a different form the god assumed in rescuing the world from evil. In the background are various animals and mythical creatures, such as elephants, lions and makaras. Near the top, the masklike "face of glory" signals spiritual security for the devotee.

AMICA ID: MIA_.90.67
Component Measured: overall
Measurement Unit: in
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: ?The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

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