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Vishnu as Kurma

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Tehri Garhwal (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1860 - ca. 1870 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted in opaque watercolour on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Mrs. Grace S. Anderson in memory of her husband John Anderson, M. D., C. E. O., F. R. S.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Painting, in opaque watercolour on paper, depicting the tortoise (Kurma) incarnation of Vishnu; illustration to a Vishnu Avatara series. Vishnu stands in the centre, crowned, wearing yellow, with four arms holding the shell, the pink lotus, the disc and the mace. He sits on a pink lotus on the top of Mount Mandara, whose base rests upon the giant tortoise, shadowy beneath the grey and gold surface of the Ocean of Milk. The churning-rope is the great white serpent Vasuki, coiled, with his heads and tail pulled alternately by crowds of demons and devi (demi-gods), who stand on the green shores. Fourteen ratnas (treasures) are seen in the waves.

Place of Origin

Tehri Garhwal (made)


ca. 1860 - ca. 1870 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Painted in opaque watercolour on paper


Height: 320 mm page, Width: 434 mm page, Height: 231 mm image within innermost painted borders, Width: 340 mm image within innermost painted borders

Descriptive line

Painting, Kurma, the tortoise incarnation of Vishnu, in opaque watercolour on paper, Tehri Garhwal, ca. 1860-1870

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

p. 122, cat. no. 38 (i)
Indian paintings from the Punjab Hills : a survey and history of Pahari miniature painting / by W. G. Archer ; foreword by Sherman E. Lee. London :Delhi: Sotheby Parke Bernet ;Oxford University Press, 1973 Number: 0856670022


Paint; Opaque watercolour; Paper



Subjects depicted

Demons; Snake; Ocean; Deities


Paintings; Hinduism; Religion; Bonita Trust Indian Paintings Cataloguing Project


South & South East Asia Collection

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