Vishnu as Kurma thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Vishnu as Kurma

Painting
ca. 1860 - ca. 1870 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Painted in opaque watercolour on paper
Brief Description
Painting, Kurma, the tortoise incarnation of Vishnu, in opaque watercolour on paper, Tehri Garhwal, ca. 1860-1870
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.
Dimensions
  • Page height: 320mm
  • Page width: 434mm
  • Image within innermost painted borders height: 231mm
  • Image within innermost painted borders width: 340mm
12/06/2013 dimensions measured as part of Indian Paintings Cataloguing Project.
Content description
The tortoise (Kurma) incarnation of Vishnu, churning the Ocean of Milk; illustration to a Vishnu Avatara series.
Style
Credit line
Bequeathed by Mrs. Grace S. Anderson in memory of her husband John Anderson, M. D., C. E. O., F. R. S.
Subjects depicted
Bibliographic Reference
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: 0856670022p. 122, cat. no. 38 (i)
Collection
Accession Number
IM.22-1917

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record createdOctober 21, 2002
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