Bronze Image of Lakshmi-Narayana beneath Ananta
Tamil Nadu, South India
This finely cast image shows Vishnu as Narayana with Sri Devi (or Lakshmi) seated on his left knee. Vishnu is seated on a rounded throne on a tiered square dais that has been engraved with lotus petal motifs.
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 upper right hand and a conch with his upper left hand. His front left hand supports Sri Devi and his front right hand is in vitarka mudhra. Both have dhoti garments and jewellery including finely-rendered jewellery including anklets and bracelets. Both have conical hair styles or crowns.
A five-headed serpent – Ananta or Ananta Shesha, on whom Vishnu sleeps while creation is suspended – provides a canopy for the two. (Ananta Shesha is typically depicted with a massive form that floats coiled in space, or on the ocean of milk, to form the bed on which Vishnu lies. Sometimes the serpent is shown as seven-headed, as well as five-headed.)
This bronze has a fine, dark patina. Its contours have been softened by years of puja wear. This has lead to some minor holes appearing ot the back of the bronze.
Mitchell, A.G., Hindu Gods and Goddesses, UBSPD, 1982.Provenance:
UK art market
Inventory no.: 2915