This magnificent metal-cast represents Vishnu and Lakshmi riding their vehicle Garuda. Vishnu, the Vedic god of sacrificial rituals, came to be Narayana, when 'puranas' associated with him his Shakti, namely, Shree or Lakshmi, who bestowed wealth and fortune. Vishnu as Narayana, the patron of 'Naras', or men, which in its broader sense stood for all created beings, was more resplendent when associated with Lakshmi for she patronised growth while he offered protection. By the time of 'puranas', much ahead of Vishnu, Lakshmi-Narayana became the divine foundation of human society in India.
This icon of Vishnu represents him as Narayana not because he has Lakshmi with him but because he has Lakshmi in him. Lotus is inseparably associated with Lakshmi. She is hence also invoked as Padmavati.
In this representation out of four only three of
Vishnu's hands are visible. His own role as protector has been
symbolised in visual representation by his 'chakra' , the wheel
and that of Lakshmi, or Shree by the lotus, which variedly
appears in Vishnu's as well as Lakshmi's iconography. This Vishnu
image carries no 'chakra' but instead a lotus in his fore-arm. He
has his usual head-dress or crown but it is exceptionally flanked
on sides by a couple of lotuses. This depicts that he prides in
making his being the abode of Lakshmi. In this representation, as
in a number of legends, Lakshmi pre-dominates this
Lakshmi-Narayana form of Vishnu, for unless Lakshmi preceded,
Vishnu would not be Lakshmi-Narayana.
The artist has meticulously worked for representing his Lakshmi
and Narayana, Vishnu and his spouse, in their most accomplished
deity-form. Lakshmi holds Vishnu in her clasp and sits on his
thigh but far from being amorous it is a sublime posture. He
placed behind the deities a massive and architecturally sculpted
fire-arch which culminates on its apex into a lotus finial
flanked on sides by two beautiful parrots. It bears a shrine's
look and not only enhances artist's votive vision but also
provides to the total representation a most appropriate aesthetic
frame as well.
The lotus platform, which houses the deity images, has been cast
like a 'vedika' consecrating the presiding deity in a sanctum.
Except for a beak- like pointed and protruded nose and his large
wings Garuda is in human form and symbolises man's devotion to
the deities. It is a small brass-piece, but the artist has
effected in it unique synthesis wherein the stylistic elements of
Chola bronzes - precision, accuracy, finish, minuteness of
details, sharp features and emotionally charged faces and the
ornamentation and embellishment of Nepalese art, blend in full
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr Daljeet. Prof. Jain
specializes on the aesthetics of ancient Indian literature. Dr
Daljeet is the chief curator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the
National Museum of India, New Delhi. They have both collaborated
on numerous books on Indian art and culture.
Of Related Interest:
Lakshmi Vishnu (Pair of White Marble Idols)
Vishnu Lakshmi (Batik Painting On Cotton)
Lakshmi and Vishnu (Sterling Silver Pendant-handcrafted with 18 Karat Gold Foil)
Lord Vishnu with Lakshmi on Sheshnag (Folk Painting from Orissa)
How to keep a Brass statue well-maintained?
Brass statues are known and appreciated for their exquisite beauty and luster. The brilliant bright gold appearance of Brass makes it appropriate for casting aesthetic statues and sculptures. Brass is a metal alloy composed mainly of copper and zinc. This chemical composition makes brass a highly durable and corrosion-resistant material. Due to these properties, Brass statues and sculptures can be kept both indoors as well as outdoors. They also last for many decades without losing all their natural shine.
Brass statues can withstand even harsh weather conditions very well due to their corrosion-resistance properties. However, maintaining the luster and natural beauty of brass statues is essential if you want to prolong their life and appearance.
In case you have a colored brass statue, you may apply mustard oil using a soft brush or clean cloth on the brass portion while for the colored portion of the statue, you may use coconut oil with a cotton cloth.
Brass idols of Hindu Gods and Goddesses are especially known for their intricate and detailed work of art. Nepalese sculptures are famous for small brass idols portraying Buddhist deities. These sculptures are beautified with gold gilding and inlay of precious or semi-precious stones. Religious brass statues can be kept at home altars. You can keep a decorative brass statue in your garden or roof to embellish the area and fill it with divinity.
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