Shown with full face forward in all white, Vishnu, the four-armed deity, appears to be a statue, crowned and holding only a manuscript. At the bottom are offerings of flowers, incense, oil lamps, and jeweled cups of pure water or liquor. His lotus pedestal seems to have come alive with the addition of the canopy of petals, seemingly dropped from the heavens to form a private, enclosed space for lovers. Vishnu’s consort, Lakshmi, identified by the lotus flower behind their heads, has manifested as a red goddess, and embraces him. Such an image shows how consecrated sculptures hold the presence of god.
Credit Line: Text courtesy of The Cleveland Museum of Art.