Lakshminarayana (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

15th–16th century
gilded copper alloy, gemstones
Overall: 8 1/2 × 4 3/4 × 2 in. (21.59 × 12.07 × 5.08 cm)
Hindu deities are often depicted as half male and half female to express their all-encompassing greatness, which transcends all conventional dualities. This image combines the god Vishnu and his consort Lakshmi into a single form known as Lakshminarayana. The deity’s left side has a woman’s breast, wears a woman’s earring, and holds a brimming pot, a mirror, and other attributes associated with Lakshmi. Its right side has a flat chest, wears a man’s earring, and holds a mace, a discus, and other attributes of Vishnu.
Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck Collection, Gift of Paul Mellon
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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