Vishnu as Varaha

Artist Unknown, India, Central IndiaIndia, Candella Dynasty (10th-12th centuries)

University of Michigan Museum of Art

University of Michigan Museum of Art


  • Title: Vishnu as Varaha
  • Creator: Artist Unknown, India, Central India
  • Date Created: India, Candella Dynasty (10th-12th centuries)
  • Location: Madhya Pradesh, India
  • Physical Dimensions: w46.5 x h57 x d16.5 mm (work)
  • Label Copy: The body of Vishnu’s boar-headed incarnation, Varaha, forges a diagonal bolt through this sculpture. His right foot is planted decisively at the corner of its projecting base; his left is flexed for leverage on a lotus pedestal. Against these rooting forces his body surges upward, culminating in an acutely raised snout. The magnitude of Varaha’s gesture and his relative scale suggest a superhuman strength, and his feet are splayed apart in a position that defies human physiology. In Hindu image making, the remarkable form of a god’s body reveals his or her boundless capacities. In this case, Varaha’s distinct posture depicts a well-known Hindu episode in which Vishnu took the form of a great boar to rescue the world from a demon who had imprisoned the earth beneath the cosmic ocean.
  • Type: Sculpture
  • External Link: http://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/musart/x-2002-sl-1.167/2002_1.167.JPG?lasttype=boolean;lastview=thumbnail;resnum=1;sel9=ic_exact;size=20;sort=relevance;start=1;subview=detail;view=entry;rgn1=musart_an;select1=starts;q1=2002%2F1.167
  • Medium: sandstone