Garuda, the mighty eagle of Indian mythology, is shown sinking his talons into the waist of a nagini, a female of the naga serpent clan. As further evidence of Garuda's traditional hostility towards naga, he is shown devouring a snake, the head of which sits on the great bird's left wing. Although the theme is purely Indian, classical Greek images representing the abduction of Ganymede by Zeus appear to have influenced this type of composition.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2011
From: Asian gallery extended display label