Museum Response Paper: South Asian Art
The Indian piece titled The Hindu deity Vishnu represents the distinguish between Hindu deities and ordinary humans. Vishnu is one of the most important gods in the Hindu pantheon and, along with Brahma and Shiva, is considered a member of the holy trinity of Hinduism. This piece was made approximately 300-400 to convey religious and philosophical meanings. The piece’s present location is the Asian Art Museum, it has also been at Asian House Gallery in New York, Kimbell Art Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago, but it’s original location was the Uttar Pradesh state in the Mathura area, India. The piece is a sandstone sculpture with dimensions of H. 31 1/4 in x W. 15 in x D. 4 1/2 in, H. 79.4 cm x W. 38.1 cm x D. 11.4 cm. In the Hindu Deity Vishnu, we can see some techniques as scale of figures and location to get to the conclusion that Vishnu is a ruler or a powerful identity.
Vishnu is one the Hindu Deities, Vishnu comes to earth in many forms, as Rama and Krishna, to reestablish order when it is threatened. His four arms are a symbol of transcendent art as it goes beyond normal different from the regular people, humans. His clothing and accessories as weapons identify him as a god. As well as he is stand in a lotus which is a symbol of divine, beauty and purity. the chakra is one of Vishnu’s standard weapons, it is also the emblem of a universal sovereign, envisioned in the Indian cultural world as a “wheel turner” (chakravartin), whose chariot wheels convey him upon his conquests.[endnoteRef:1] The sculpture is an example of Mathura style which take place in central India, it is easy to recognized the style as the sculpture was made with red sandstone. The main characteristics that we can also see in the sculpture are the eyes closed, big shoulders and that we can see half of the body. [1: Asian Art Museum Online Collection. Accessed March 21, 2018. http://searchcollection.asianart.org/view/objects/asitem/nid/11274.]
Vishnu looks like a real emperor specially because the accessories as the crown, garland and jewelry highlighted at the sculpture. The wheel-like war discus (chakra) beneath his lower left hand emphasizes this association. While the chakra is one of Vishnu’s standard weapons, it is also the emblem of a universal sovereign, envisioned in the Indian cultural world as a “wheel turner” (chakravartin), whose chariot wheels convey him upon his conquests.[endnoteRef:2] It also shows universal balance the weapon and the association. [2: Asian Art Museum Online Collection]
More so than previously, sculpture was applied as a decoration, subordinate to its architectural setting. It was intricate and elaborate in detail and was characterized by complicated, many-armed figures drawn from the pantheon of Hindu and Jain gods, which replaced the earlier simple figures of Buddhist gods.[endnoteRef:3] This sculpture is a good example of the Hindu sculpture,...