Vishnu Riding on Garuda
- dated 1004
- Gilt copper repoussé
- H. 16 1/2 in. (41.9 cm); W. 11 5/8 in. (29.5 cm); D. 3 3/8 in. (8.6 cm)
- Credit Line:
- Zimmerman Family Collection, Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace, Jeffrey B. Soref and Natalie Soref Gifts, 2012
- Accession Number:
This rare early example of Nepalese repoussé depicts the god Vishnu in flight astride his half-bird, half-human mount, Garuda. He displays a flaming discus, a club, and a conch. Atop his wings are diminutive figures of his wives. Vishnu was the premier deity of the North Indian Gupta clan, and Garuda their dynastic symbol—a royal association that continued with the Licchavi kingdom in Nepal. The inscription here refers to Vishnu Garudadhvaja (One Whose Banner is Garuda), the Gupta symbol. This relief, the oldest known example outside Nepal, served as a protective sheath for a stone icon of the same subject.