Skip to Content

Indian Art

Showing 7 of 23


  FILTER RESULTS

Shiva and Vishnu Seated in a Garden (recto); Vishnu Seated in a Garden before a Fountain (verso)

1794
9 3/16 x 6 in. (23.3 x 15.2 cm)

Unknown, Indian
Indian

Object Type: Painting
Medium and Support: Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold paint on paper
Credit Line: Gift of Miss Margaret M. Whalen
Accession Number: 1972.31a-b
Link to this object
Location: Not currently on view

According to Indian Hinduism, three gods comprise the Trimurti, or sacred trinity: Brahma, the Creator; Shiva, the Destroyer, and Vishnu, the Preserver. In this illustration from an illuminated Hindu manuscript, two of these gods-Shiva on the left and Vishnu on the right-are shown discussing religious or philosophical matters.

In religious art, the identity of most figures can be established by their attributes, or distinctive physical characteristics or objects. Here, Shiva is portrayed as androgynous, pale-skinned, and half nude, which represents his transcendental nature and his embodiment of the union of male and female. His posture shows his status as an ascetic yogi; the tiger skin on which he sits represents his conquest of pride and control over the mind. Seated on a throne to Shiva's right, the preserver god Vishnu has skin "the color of dark clouds." He is traditionally shown with four arms holding sacred and symbolic objects. His front arms signify his activity in the physical world; those in back, his role in the spiritual realm.

[Gallery wall label]

Verso: According to Indian Hinduism, three gods comprise the Trimurti, or sacred trinity: Brahma, the Creator; Shiva, the Destroyer; and Vishnu, the Preserver. In this illustration from an illuminated Hindu manuscript, the god Vishnu is shown in a contemplative pose, seated on a throne within a walled garden.

In religious art, most figures can be identified by their attributes, or distinctive physical characteristics or objects. The preserver god Vishnu, who has skin “the color of dark clouds,” is traditionally shown with four arms holding sacred and symbolic objects. His front arms signify his activity in the physical world; those in back, his role in the spiritual realm.

[Label text from It Came From the Vault exhibition, 2013]

Keywords Click a term to view the records with the same keyword

Additional Images Click an image to view a larger version

Exhibition List
This object was included in the following exhibitions:

Portfolio List Click a portfolio name to view all the objects in that portfolio
This object is a member of the following portfolios:

Web Links See links to web pages and lesson plans
It Came from the Vault exhibition catalogue Entry for the verso of this artwork in the It Came from the Vault exhibition catalogue. The exhibition ran from March 17-June 9, 2013


Your current search criteria is: Portfolio is "Indian Art" and [Object]Century is "18th Century".

View current selection of records as:
CDWA Lite XML LIDO XML VRA Core 4 MODS XML Objects JSON