Madurai, Tamil Nadu
Height: 42 in (105 cm)
Vishnu, one of the three principal deities of the Hindu triad, is revered widely as the God of protection. His consorts are Goddess Lakshmi, who is revered for material wealth and prosperity, and Bhudevi, who is worshipped as Mother Earth. Here, in this beautifully carved figure of stone, he is depicted in a graceful standing posture, with a very powerful and assertive look.
He is portrayed here with four arms. In his upper two hands he would have held his attributes, a chakra and a conch, while his lower left hand is seen resting lightly on his hip. In some sculptures, this deity is seen holding a mace or a 'gada' which rests on the base on which he stands. His lower right hand is seen in the 'abhaya mudra' or the 'fear not' position, a sign of his benevolence and kindness towards his devotees.
Here Vishnu is portrayed wearing an elongated crown. His upper body, which is bare, is adorned in jewelry. He also wears armbands, wristbands, anklets and an ornate waistband. His lower vestment, which is a dhoti, falls almost up to his ankles in fine folds. His eyes are large with arched eyebrows, portraying his benevolence, and he has a faint smile. The entire sculpture has very realistic modeling. Fine features like the facial muscles can be seen, and the stomach has a slight bulge due to the tight waist band.
The work has great presence with the simple ornamentation adding to the charm.