Meditating Vishnu and Ten Avatars
Asia: India, State of Karnātaka, Karnataka
On View

Hoysala Dynasty sculptures are typified by a highly ornate style of carving and exuberantly displayed adornments. This fine example portrays Vishnu engaged in meditation surrounded by tiny representations of his ten avatars along the upper edge above his head. In the "Bagavatgita," Krishna (one of Vishnu's avatars), manifests his cosmic form and pronounces "behold my yogic splendor!"


  • Title: Meditating Vishnu and Ten Avatars
  • Date: 1100-1150
  • Medium: Schist
  • Dimensions: 49-1/4 x 27-1/4 x 15-1/4 in. (125.1 x 69.2 x 38.7 cm)
  • Credit Line: The Norton Simon Foundation
  • Accession Number: F.1975.17.01.S

Object Information

  • Pal, Pratapaditya, Marg, fig. 3 pp. 56-57
  • Pal, Pratapaditya, American Collectors of Asian Art, 1986, fig. 3 pp.120-121
  • Pal, Pratapaditya, Asian Art at the Norton Simon Museum, Volume 1: Art from the Indian Subcontinent, 2003, no. 218 pp. 296-297
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 1232 p. 385
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