Antique Indonesian Style Majapahit Seated & Enthroned Bronze Vishnu Statue - Protector & Preserver - 29cm/12"
Measurements Height 29cm/12"
An antique Java Style seated bronze Vishnu sculpture in the 13th century Majapahit style. Vishnu is both world protector and preserver, restorer of moral order - he is all-powerful and all-pervasive by nature.
The heavily encrusted Vishnu is seated on a lotus flower base, which is itself seated on a raised pedestal. The lower right hand holds a lotus blossom. The upper left a fly whisk. His left hand is held in a gesture of teaching (vitarka mudra). In this mudra the hands form the Darma wheel, which, at its most basic, represents the study of the dharma, practice through meditation, and moral discipline.
This hand gesture is known as the Dharmachakra mudra and is often reserved for the iconography of either Vairocana or the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni. The mudra represents the turning of the wheel and places the hands so that the thumbs and index fingers touch at the tips to form a wheel. This symbolises one of the most important moments in the life of Buddha, the occasion when he preached to his companions the first sermon after his Enlightenment in the Deer Park at Sarnath. It therefore denotes the setting into motion of the Wheel of the teaching of the Dharma. In this mudra the thumb and index finger of both hands touch at their tips to form a circle. This circle represents the Wheel of Dharma, or in metaphysical terms, the union of method and wisdom.
He wears a richly bejewelled dohti and upavita. His face has a downcast gaze. Upon his head he wears a decorative Javanese style tiara in front of his Kirita-Makuta or tall conical crown. This symbolises control over Positive and Negative attitudes.
On his forehead he has a third eye or urna. He has an aquiline nose and elongated earlobes with large ear rings. Vishnu is backed by an aureole, symbolising his divinity.
The sculpture has a wonderful malachite and azurite encrusted patina.
New York Metropolitan Museum Collection - Accession Number: 1987.142.15
Christie's Auction House - Sale 2562 (December 2002) - INDIAN, HIMALAYAN AND SOUTHEAST ASIAN ART
Christie's Auction House - Sale 2612 (December 2003) - INDIAN, HIMALAYAN AND SOUTHEAST ASIAN ART
Bonhams - March 2018 - Fine Southeast Asian Arts
Provenance: Ex- private Boston, MA, USA collection. All items are guaranteed to be as described. A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all purchases upon request.
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A deity of contradictions, Shiva the Destroyer has a tumultuous history which is reflective of his many responsibilities and characterisations. His importance over the universe, but also his personality, make him a popular choice in Hindu art.