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Mathura: Vishnu, 5th Century A.D. Delhi, National Museum

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CollectionsArthur Llewellyn Basham
Title: Mathura: Vishnu, 5th Century A.D. Delhi, National Museum
Author(s): Photographer: Basham, Arthur Llewellyn
Keywords: Gupta Period
Gupta Sculpture
stone sculpture
mounted transparency set
Series/Report no.: Basham Collection
Description: In Hindu mythology, Vishnu is the preserving, protective force of all creation, He is part of the inseparable trinity comprising the countenance of the Divine and works in two ways to see that life is perpetuated through eternity, First, he surveys the earth and its creatures from the realm of his celestial paradise and, second, he periodically comes to earth in human form to directly influence man or takes on the guise of fantastic animals to overcome the forces of evil, Mathura was the center of Vishnu worship from early times, during the Gupta period, three types of Vishnu figures are [sic] developed in that region, The first, exemplified by our slide illustration, is a standing image of Vishnu alone with four arms (either broken off or deleted in this case) holding four attributes, The second and third types show Vishnu in polycephalic form or reclining on the serpent Sesha, Like the Buddha and Bodhisattva figures, Vishnu bears physical resemblance to the Yakshas and was probably derived from them with respect to body type, Unlike most Yakshas, however, the Vishnu figure was more austerely handled,
Other Identifiers: ANUA 682-829


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