Plaque with Vishnu with Attendant

Place Made:
Thailand: Si Thep (?), Mon-Dvaravati period
c. 700
Gold repoussé 
11-7/8 x 6-3/8 in. (30.2 x 16.2 cm) 
Credit Line:
The Norton Simon Foundation 
Accession Number:
© The Norton Simon Foundation 
On View

Repoussé refers to decoration hammered into relief from the back of a metal plate. In this gold repoussé plaque, the Hindu god Vishnu represents the world axis. He stands on a square base, symbolic of the earth, and he is framed by a circular halo, which signifies the heavens. His upright form represents a stalk from which a lotus flower blossoms, seen at the top of Vishnu’s miter. Vishnu’s four arms, holding his attributes—the chakra (wheel), conch shell, orb and club—signal the four cardinal directions.

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