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    Fine Indian Miniature Painting of the Hindu Trinity – Anantashayana Vishnu, Lakshmi & Brahma

    India, possibly Calcutta
    circa 1860

    10 x 7.5cm



    private collection, UK

    – scroll down to see further images –

    This very finely painted image shows Vishnu and his consort Lakshmi with Brahma. It is painted in polychrome with gold highlights.

    Vishnu is shown in his serene resting or Anantashayana state. He rests on the multi-headed serpent Shesha (Ananta) floating on a milky sea against a leafy, green landscape. He has four arms, wears a golden crown with peacock feather details, ample garlands and other jewellery, holds various attributes including a conch shell and a large mace, and wears a bright yellow dhoti. His upper left hand rests behind his head. Meanwhile, Lakshmi massages Vishnu’a feet. She is depicted cross-legged with a yellow dhoti and a see-through red shawl.

    A bejewelled, four-headed Brahma, seated in meditation, springs from Vishnu’s naval. (According to  Vaishnava accounts of the creation, Brahma was born in a lotus, and emerged from Vishnu’s navel.)

    The Hindu triumvirate  – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva – who are responsible for the creation, upkeep and destruction of the world. Vishnu is the preserver of the universe, while Shiva’s role is to destroy it so that it might be recreated.

    The painting is not framed but retains its original, thin glass covering which was added in India at the time the painting was made. The painting is in excellent condition.

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