Plaque with Vishnu

Plaque with Vishnu

c. 600s

Gold repoussé

Overall: 7.6 x 4.5 cm (3 x 1 3/4 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1973.75


Images made in India during the Gupta period (ad 300s to 600s) were influential in shaping the early development of Buddhist and Hindu art in Southeast Asia. This gold token depicts the Hindu god Vishnu, identified by the flat-topped crown, his four arms, and attributes: wheel, conch shell, club, and clod of earth. Noteworthy for its naturalism is the foreshortening of his right foot. Such precious gold objects were made to be secreted under a sacred stone icon in Thailand or Cambodia to infuse the temple with wealth and glory.

See also
Southeast Asian
Type of artwork: 

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