Figure of Vishnu - ROM2007_9639_2


Figure of Vishnu

Medium:Cast bronze
Geography: Kerala, India
Date: 14th century
32 x 14 x 11.5 cm
Object number: 2007.10.1
Credit Line: This purchase was made possible with the support of the Louise Hawley Stone Charitable Trust Fund
On view
Gallery Location:Sir Christopher Ondaatje South Asian Gallery
DescriptionThis is a rare example of 14th century metal sculpture from Kerala. It is expressively cast standing on a double-lotus base of a yoni (female procreative organ), holding the conch and wheel (chakra) in his uppermost hands. His rounded face with aquiline nose and large, wide-open eyes, are distinctive features of Kerala bronzes, as well as the highly stylized ornamental treatment of the flaming arch (mandorla). Metal arts have not been readily practiced in Kerala because of the absence of raw materials in that region. The ones that do exist were inspired by the prolific casting traditions of Tamil Nadu, the seat of the Chola Kingdom, the neighboring state to the south. In this way, this piece documents the transference of technology across political and cultural borders in pre-modern times.
South Asia
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