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Vishnu    


Grey Schist
11th Century

Pala Dynasty

Height: 18.5 in (46.25 cm)

The word Pala means protector in Sanskrit. Under the rule of the Pala kings significant developments took place in the field of arts in the states of Bihar and Bengal.

This standing Pala sculpture of Vishnu depicts him in a four-handed form. He is shown as the cosmic monarch. His upper left hand holds the discus as his upper right hand bears the mace. His lower left hand would have held the conch. His lower right hand bears a lovely lotus flower. He stands on a double lotus pedestal. He is flanked on his left by Saraswati and on his right by Laxmi. Saraswati holds her musical instrument, the veena while Laxmi holds a flywhisk. His facial features are clear and his posture emits confidence. Above Vishnu on either side, two apsaras can be seen. Two attendants and floral motifs occupy the lower part of the sculpture. Vishnu's fingers are delicately executed and the face exhibits a radiant smile. His emblem the Srivatsa is prominently placed on his chest.

The work is a typical example of the school. In the centuries after, the school had a significant impact on the arts of Nepal, Tibet and Southeast Asia.




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