Silver-Inlaid Bronze Image of Lakshmi-Narayana
Tamil Nadu, South India
height: 13cm, width: 10.4cm
This fine and well proportioned image shows Vishnu as Narayana with Sri Devi (or Lakshmi) seated on his left knee. Vishnu is seated on a tiered rectangular throne. Sri Devi holds a lotus bud in her left hand. She has a kuchabandha across her breasts which is one of her defining attributes. Vishnu holds a chakra wheel with his back right hand and a conch with his back left hand. His front left hand supports Sri Devi and his front right hand is in vitarka mudhra. He is seated on a lotus throne. Both have dhoti garments and finely-rendered jewellery including anklets and bracelets. Both have conical hair styles or crowns.
The eyes of both Vishnu and Lakshmi are inlaid with silver (one of the inlaid eyes of Lakshmi is now missing.)
This image has small careful details which mark it out as a perceptively-tendered bronze. Lakshmi’s right hand rests on the small of Vishnu’s back for support for example, and Vishnu and several sacred threads that fall across his chest in a naturalistic manner.
The image shows some
puja wear. It has a chocolate-brown patina and clear and obvious age.
Mitchell, A.G., Hindu Gods and Goddesses, UBSPD, 1982.Provenance:
UK art market
Inventory no.: 2916
Lakshmi-Narayana in stone, late Vijayanagar period (circa 18th century).
Photographed at the Maratha Palace in Tanjore, January 2015.