Vishnu as Vaikuntha
10th century
Asia: India, Haryāna; Asia: India, Uttar Pradesh
On View

This impressive three-headed image depicts Vishnu in a cosmic manifestation known as Vaikuntha, which is also the name of his heavenly abode. The head projecting on his right is Narasimha, the man-lion avatar, while the head projecting on his left is Varaha, the boar avatar; these are two of Vishnu’s ten principal avatars. His two upper hands hold his lotus flower and conch shell attributes, while his lower hands rest on the heads of his personified attributes, Club-woman and Wheel-man, who bend sharply to gaze up at their master.


  • Title: Vishnu as Vaikuntha
  • Date: 10th century
  • Medium: Brownish-grey schist
  • Dimensions: 28-3/8 x 16-1/2 x 7 in. (72.1 x 41.9 x 17.8 cm)
  • Credit Line: The Norton Simon Foundation
  • Accession Number: F.1975.16.09.S
  • Copyright: © The Norton Simon Foundation

Object Information

  • Pal, Pratapaditya, Journal of the Asiatic Society, 1998, pp. 122-128
  • Pal, Pratapaditya, Asian Art at the Norton Simon Museum, Volume 1: Art from the Indian Subcontinent, 2003, no. 82 p. 124
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 1217 p. 383
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