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Vishnu and Lakshmi

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Kangra (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1870 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted in opaque watercolour on paper

  • Credit Line:

    P. C. Manuk and Miss G. M. Coles Bequest through Art Fund

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The Hindu god Vishnu is shown in this painting in the form he takes between the destruction of one universe and the creation of the next, an episode that repeats in the unending cycle of creation and destruction in Hindu thought. He reclines on the giant serpent Shesha, floating on the primeval waters, with his wife Lakshmi at his feet. From his navel there rises a lotus stalk crowned by a flower, from which Brahma, the god associated with creation, will appear and re-create the universe. The purity of the lotus flower as a fitting vehicle for the birth of a god is a theme found elsewhere in Hinduism and Buddhism. This painting may have been made for the enjoyment of a local ruler and was probably the work of local artists.

Physical description

Painting, in opaque watercolour on paper, depicting Vishnu and Lakshmi on the great snake.

Place of Origin

Kangra (made)


ca. 1870 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Painted in opaque watercolour on paper


Height: 175 mm, Width: 239 mm, Height: 126 mm image within innermost painted borders, Width: 191 mm image within innermost painted borders

Descriptive line

Painting, Vishnu and Lakshmi on the great snake, opaque watercolour on paper, Pahari, Kangra, ca. 1870

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

p. 309, cat. no. 75.
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


Painting; Painted

Subjects depicted

Lotus; Deities; Snake


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


South & South East Asia Collection

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