The appeal of Vishnu is manifold and wide-ranging. From His many moods - tints and shades of calm and ferocity - to His beauteous form captured with great skill in the midst of the folklore that surrounds Him, this especial category of Hindu paintings has been devoted to arguably the most popular deity of the quintessential Hindu trinity. He is responsible for the preservation of the universe as we know it, in accompaniment with His wife Lakshmi who presides over resources and wealth, a prerequisite to preservation. He is usually dressed in natural-coloured silks and done up in vibrant shringar. In a number of these paintings He is next to His gracious Lakshmi, while some of these paintings depict His signature life-episodes such as His slaying Hiranyakashipu as Narasimha and being prayed to by the rest of the Indian pantheon. While His sheshashayi stance and the ones exuding divine calm are the most popular with connoisseurs of Vishnu paintings, the unconventional picks from this collection are no less exquisite. For example, the Lord's Varaha and Matsya avataras in all their passion, and of course Narasimha. A painting of the form of Vishnu that the devotee most closely identifies with at a particular stage in their devotion would suit their space the best.
Q1. How is Vishnu
portrayed in art?
Vishnu, the preserver
Lord in Hinduism is portrayed in art engaged in his legendary tasks of
nurturing the universe. Dashavatara (ten incarnations), Vishnu-Lakshmi,
Sheshashayi Vishnu (Vishnu on the bed of Adi Shesha’s coils), Vishnu with Sri
Devi and Bhudevi are some of the popular portrayals of Sri Vishnu in art,
however, the most common form of Vishnu in art is in his four-armed or
Chaturbhuja form, holding a conch, mace, lotus, and discus, adorned in the
manner of a divine king.
Q2. What do the objects
that Vishnu hold represents?
Bhagwan Vishnu in his
four arms holds four attributes, each of which signifies a vital universal
principle. The Shankha or conch represents
the primordial sound from which the Universe emerged, the Chakra or
discus signifies the wheel of time or Kaal-chakra, the Gada or mace represents
the power to destroy negative forces and the Padma or lotus is the symbol of
origin and heavenly purity.
Q3. How do you protect a silk painting?
To protect a silk
painting, it should be placed in a clean and dry area, where direct sunlight
does not enter. Clean the painting when necessary with a soft cloth to avoid
the settlement of dirt on the canvas. You can place the silk painting inside
the frame to separate it from the humidity and dust and prolong its life. In
case of shifting and moving, store the silk painting with soft paddings and
move it with care.
Q4. Can we directly paint on canvas?
Yes, you can paint
directly on the canvas.
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