Vishnu with Consorts

Historical period(s)
Pala-Sena dynasty, 12th century
Black schist
H x W x D: 95.2 x 42 x 14 cm (37 1/2 x 16 9/16 x 5 1/2 in) H (with tang): 108.7 cm (42 13/16 in)
India, Bengal or Bihar
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Sculpture, Stone


apsara, conch shell, fly whisk, Garuda, India, Lakshmi, mace, Pala-Sena dynasty (750 - 1100), Sarasvati, sudarshana chakra, Vishnu
Provenance research underway.

This stone stele features the Hindu god Vishnu, who may be recognized by his specific attributes. The mace and discus in his upper hands are his royal weapons, while the lotus and conch shell in his lower hands represent respectively purity and the watery origins of life. The crowned god stands surrounded by hovering celestial beings and flanked by Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune, who carries a fly whisk, as well as Sarasvati, goddess of knowledge, who holds a musical instrument. Garuda, Vishnu's eagle vehicle, kneels to the left of the double-lotus base. This stone stele would once have occupied a niche in the outer walls of a temple dedicated to Vishnu.

Published References
  • Aschwin Lippe. The Freer Indian Sculptures. Oriental Studies Series, no. 8 Washington, 1970. pl. 38-39.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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