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Laksmi-Narayana: Combined form of Vishnu and his Consort Laksmi

18th century
Artist/maker unknown, Nepalese
Here the divine couple Vishnu and Lakshmi merge to create a single being. Known as Vaikuntha-Kamalaja, this form appears mostly in Nepal and the neighboring highlands of India. Green-skinned Vishnu holds his identifying objects (discus, conch, mace, and lotus) while white-skinned Lakshmi carries a vase, rosary, and book. Although dressed gender appropriately, the faces and anatomy of the halves are identical. A tortoise appears as Lakshmi’s complementary animal (rather than her standard owl); it stands opposite Vishnu’s mount, the bird-man Garuda, who kneels in homage. The symmetrical composition emphasizes the unification of opposites.

Object Details

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