Jul 9, 2012
Jul 9, 2012

Vishnu Riding on Garuda

Vishnu Riding on Garuda

AD 300s


Overall: 81.3 x 47 cm (32 x 18 1/2 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1961.46


In a rare and powerful work from this period, Vishnu straddles his vehicle, the man-eagle called Garuda, here shown with a human head, wings outstretched, and tail feathers expanding like rays of light behind the head of the god. Garuda is the enemy of serpents, and a subjugated serpent is tied around his neck. His determined expression lends confidence that he will do anything in his power to support Vishnu in his accomplishments. Tiny worshippers kneel in veneration before the imposing figures.

Each of Vishnu's hands holds an implement: discus, mace, conch, and citron fruit. On his chest is an auspicious symbol called the shrivatsa, or "child" (vatsa) of Shri, the goddess of good fortune and a wife of Vishnu.

See also
Indian Art
Type of artwork: 

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