6909

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    Indian Bronze of Vishnu Reclining on Ananta (Anantasayana)

    Tamil Nadu, South India
    17th century

    width: 11.6cm, height: 8cm, depth: 5.6cm, weight: 440g

    Sold

    Provenance

    UK art market

    – scroll down to see further images –

    This form of Vishnu’ known as Anantasayana is uncommon. It shows the deity reclining on the body of the serpent Ananta (also known as Sesha), with Ananta’s hood of seven heads rearing over his head. Vishnu has four arms. One holds a conch and another the cakra. Another appears to support his head and another gestures towards his consort, Lakshmi, who is massaging his feet.

    Both Vishnu and Lakshmi wear high crown, anklets, armbands, earrings and other jewellery.

    The rectangular platform on which the group rests has a flared lower skirting that is engraved with lotus petals. The back of the platform has two to suggest that a backing plate or aureole once was present, but as usually the case, this no longer is present.

    The bronze has a wonderful, glossy chocolate patina. The ritual rubbing of the details indicates that this bronze was the subject of devotional worship as part of a domestic shrine.

    This is a beautiful bronze with a seldom-encountered subject.

    References

    Pal, P., Art from the Indian Subcontinent: Asian Art at the Norton Simon Museum, Yale University Press, 2003.

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