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  • Place of origin:

    Coimbatore (made)

  • Date:

    10th century-11th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Bronze, cast by the <i>cire perdue</i> process

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Lord Curzon of Kedleston

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    South Asian Sculpture, Room 47b, case 5

Physical description

A four-armed standing figure of the God Vishnu in the upright or Bhogasthanakamurti pose. The upper right hand holds the wheel (cakra) poised between the first two and the third fingers, the latter now broken and missing; the upper left hand holds the conch (sankha) poised between the first and second finger; the lower right hand is in abhaya mudra; the lower left, resting on the mace (gada). A srivatsa symbol, now much abraded, is visible above the right breast. The figure wears a cylindrical coronet (kirita makuta), and behind the head there is a petalled (siras cakra) or disc for hanging garlands. The striped lower garment is worn with girdle and sash, the former with long beaded tassels extending between the legs, and the latter with projecting bows at the hips, Other details include a multi-stranded Brahmanical sacred cord (yajnopavita) tied in a bow above the left breast, waistband keyura armlets, bangles, (makara-kundala) ear pendants, and padasaras on the feet. The figure stands on a circular lotus pedestal cast in one piece with a square base, the latter having projecting tendons for the support of an arched-surround or torana (now missing), and rings for processional carrying. The presence of encrusted carbonate matter in surface crevices confirms a period of earth-burial.

Place of Origin

Coimbatore (made)


10th century-11th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Bronze, cast by the cire perdue process


Weight: 16.8 kg, Height: 66 cm

Object history note

Bequeathed by Lord Curzon of Kedleston in 1927.
It formed part of the collection made by Lord Curzon during the course of his travels in the East in the latter part of the 19th Century and during is residency in India as Viceroy and Governor-General from 1898-1905.

Descriptive line

Figure of Vishnu, bronze, Coimbatore, ca.11th century.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Bethnal Green Museum. Eastern arts objects; catalogue of a collection lent by Lord Curzon of Kedleston. H.S.M.O., London, 1910, p.19, case 14, no..4 ( ).
R.Nagaswamy, "Kongu Bronzes in the V & A Museum" Lalit Kala, no.13, (1967).

Guy, John: 'Indian Temple Sculpture', London V & A Publication, p.54. pl.54. & p.103, pl.117.
ISBN 971851775095

p. 198, cat. no. 356
In the image of man : the Indian perception of the universe through 2000 years of painting and sculpture : [exhibition / organized by Catherine Lampert assisted by Rosalie Cass]. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson :in association with the Arts Council of Great Britain, 1982 Number: 0297780719, 0297781243 (pbk.)
No. 1
Haworth-Booth, Mark; Indian Sculpture: A Travelling Exhibition, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 1971
p.74, Cat.37
L'escultura en el temples indis : l'art de la devoció : exposició organitzada per la Fundació "La Caixa" i el Victoria & Albert Museum, Londres. [Barcelona: Obra social, Fundació "la Caixa", c2007 Number: 9788476649466

Labels and date

5. Vishnu
Chola period
Vishnu is one of the most popular Hindu gods. He is often
characterised as the preserver, protecting the universe from
powerful demons. Three of his hands hold emblems of his
power and authority: a flaming discus, a conch shell and a
club. The fourth hand is raised in the abhaya mudra gesture
of reassurance and protection.
Copper alloy
Southern India (Tamil Nadu)
Reportedly excavated at Coimbatore
Bequeathed by Lord Curzon of Kedleston, Viceroy of India 1898–1905
Museum no. IM.127-1927 [06/06/2011]
Reportedly excavated at Coimbatore, Tamilnadu
Cola period
10th-11th century
Bequeathed by Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India 1898-1905 [ca. 1988-2009]

Production Note

South India




Cire perdue

Subjects depicted

Hinduism; Sphere


Images Online; Sculpture; Religion; Hinduism


South & South East Asia Collection

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