Asian Art
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery

Hindu God Vishnu as Vaikuntha-Kamalaja

16th century

Gilt bronze with inset gem stones

8 7/8 × 5 1/2 × 3 1/4 in. (22.5 × 14 × 8.3 cm)
Gift of the Rubin-Ladd Foundation under the bequest of Ester R. Portnow
2017.54.17
While several of the attributes held in the eight hands, such as the wheel and the conch shell, identify this figure as the Hindu god Vishnu, others, including the mango leaves, waterpot, mirror, and book, belong to his consort, Lakshmi. The iconography combining Vishnu and Lakshmi is common in Nepal, but rarely appears elsewhere in South Asia.
Geography: 
Nepal
Culture: 
Nepalese
Period: 
Katmandu, Bhaktapur, and Patan Kingdoms (1484 - 1768)
Classification: 
Sculpture
Provenance: 

Purportedly Thomas Clarke Estate, New York, 1970s. Purportedly Henry Sterling, possibly 1980s. Purportedly with Kapoor Galleries, Inc., New York, by 2001; sold to the Rubin-Ladd Foundation, Georgetown, Conn., and New York, 2001; given to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 2016

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Information provided by the donor at the time of acquisition indicates that “Hindu God Vishnu as Vaikuntha-Kamalaja” was formerly with the Thomas Clarke Estate, New York, 1970s; the Henry Sterling Collection, formed in the 1980s; on loan to the Denver Museum of Art between 1992 and 2010; sold at Sotheby’s, New York, December 14, 1992; and acquired from the Kapoor Galleries, Inc., New York, 2001. Research conducted by the Gallery in 2022 has shown the object was never on loan at DAM, nor sold at Sotheby’s. Provenance research is ongoing to verify the sculpture’s origins.

This work appears on our "Antiquities and Archaeological Material with Provenance Documentation Gaps" page.
Bibliography: 

“Acquisitions July 1, 2016–June 30, 2017,” https://artgallery.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/bulletin/Pub-Bull-acquisitions-2017.pdf (accessed December 1, 2017).

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.