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Sculpture from the Kushan Period
Sculpture from North India, 5th-7th Centuries
Jain sculpture
Sculpture of the Pala Period
Stone Sculpture from Hindu Temples
Sculptures from South India, 8th-9th Centuries
Bronze Sculpture of the Chola Period
Art for the Mughal and Rajput Courts
Hindu Temple Hangings
Buddhist Painting from India, Nepal, and Tibet
Buddhist Painting from India, Nepal, and Tibet
Sculpture from Nepal
Sculpture from the Kushan Period
Two Bodhisattvas from Sri Lanka
India, Andhra Pradesh or Tamil Nadu; Pallava period, 8th century
Copper alloy
H. 13 1/4 in. (33.7 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
Vishnu is worshipped by Hindus as the preserver of the universe. He descends to earth in different guises and restores the balance and order of the universe. Three of the objects he holds, the discus, club and conch shell, represent those used in his endeavors. For example, with the blowing of the conch shell, Vishnu is said to strike terror into the hearts of his enemies. A sacred thread is draped around his left shoulder and right arm. This thread is worn by members of the high-ranking Brahmin caste that was traditionally responsible for the performance of rituals. It is a standard attribute of all Hindu gods.
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