Mar 18, 2014

Gajalakshmi: Lakshmi with Elephants

Gajalakshmi: Lakshmi with Elephants

c. 1890

Gum tempera, graphite, ink, and tin on paper

Secondary Support: 60.7 x 42.4 cm (23 7/8 x 16 11/16 in.); Painting only: 43 x 27.7 cm (16 15/16 x 10 7/8 in.)

Gift of William E. Ward in memory of his wife, Evelyn Svec Ward 2003.149



Seated on a lotus in the yoga lotus position (padmasana), Lakshmi (wife of Vishnu and goddess of fortune, prosperity, and beauty) is flanked by elephants that anoint her and express their devotion by bathing her with water from the pot held aloft with their trunks. The lotus seat serves as a throne while the elephants’ trunks form an arch within which she is enshrined.

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