, Vishvarupa, the cosmic form of Vishnu Enlarge 1 /1
Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Vishvarupa, the cosmic form of Vishnu c. 1840 Materials & Technique: paintings, opaque watercolour, gold and silver on paper
Dimensions: 27.0 h x 40.0 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 2012
Accession No: NGA 2012.758

The revered Vishnu is shown here as Vishvarupa, one of his many manifestations. In this cosmic form, Vishnu encapsulates the universe; he is all things at once, including the only truth and the only reality. One half of the picture presents Vishvarupa enclosed within the cosmic egg, the source of creation. Having emerged from the egg, in the other half of the painting the omnipotent god is seated in a pose of preaching, surveying the world he has brought into being.


Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2011
From: Asian gallery extended display label