• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 12471

    Arts of India

    26 May 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 119

    A LARGE ICON OF VISHNU RECLINING ON SHESHA

    TANJORE, SOUTH INDIA, LATE 19TH/EARLY 20TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A LARGE ICON OF VISHNU RECLINING ON SHESHA
    TANJORE, SOUTH INDIA, LATE 19TH/EARLY 20TH CENTURY
    Opaque pigments on paper and gold and silver leaves applied on board, Vishnu reclines on a bolster supported by the coils of a naga, protected by the naga's head, his consort Lakshmi at his feet, attendants and worshippers behind and below
    36¼ x 47in. ( 92 x 119.5cm.)


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    Tanjore is well known for the large depictions of episodes of the life of Krishna. Here the artist seems to have departed from the usual subject and opted to depict Vishnu, of whom Krishna is one of the ten avatars. Between yugas or eras, Vishnu reclines on Shesha, the multi-hooded naga floating on the waters of the primordial ocean. From the deity's navel rises the lotus from which bud Brahma will appear. His consort, Lakshmi, is often depicted holding or caressing his feet.