Seated Vishnu Depicted As King Of Boon Bestowers (Varadaraja)
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
1982.32
Title
Seated Vishnu Depicted as King of Boon Bestowers (Varadaraja)
Classification
Sculpture
Work Type
sculpture, figurine
Date
Medieval period, 14th century
Places
Creation Place: South Asia, India, Tamil Nadu
Culture
Indian
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Lost-wax cast copper alloy; from Tamil Nadu, South India
Dimensions
H. 32.7 x W. 22.2 x D. 10.9 cm (12 7/8 x 8 3/4 x 4 5/16 in.)
Aquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Ernest B. and Helen Pratt Dane Fund for the Acquisition of Oriental Art and Oriental Department Discretionary Fund
Accession Year
1982
Object Number
1982.32
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
Descriptions

Label Text: Re-View: Arts of India & the Islamic Lands, written 2008
Seated Vishnu Depicted as King of Boon Bestowers (Varadaraja)
India, Tamil Nadu, 14th century
Lost wax cast copper alloy
Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Ernest B. and Helen Pratt Dane Fund for the Acquisition of Oriental Art and Oriental Department Discretionary Fund, 1982.32

This South Indian bronze depicts the Hindu god Vishnu. One of the three great gods of Hinduism, Vishnu is known as the preserver, as he manifests during times of trouble to help save the world. Here Vishnu is shown holding one of his main attributes, a conch, and displaying his lower right hand in varada mudra (boon- or blessing-bestowing gesture). Bedecked in regal jewelry and a tall crown, Vishnu is dressed as an earthly king. Just as the sculpture of standing Rama, elsewhere in this exhibition, this sculpture was a processional icon. Likely created after the end of the Chola empire, this bronze has the facial features and rounded body that are closely associated with Chola-period images.

Publication History

Kristin A. Mortimer, Harvard University Art Museums: A Guide to the Collections, Harvard University Art Museums/Abbeville Press (Cambridge, MA; New York, NY, 1985), Cat. #70 / p. 67

Exhibition History

Re-View: Arts of India & the Islamic Lands, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 04/26/2008 - 06/01/2013

Subjects and Contexts

Collection Highlights

Verification Level

2 - Adequate. Object is adequately described but information may not be vetted