Earring with Four-Armed Vishnu Riding Garuda with Nagas (serpent divinities)

1600s or 1700s

The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland, United States

In Nepal, sculptures of deities were adorned with jewelry larger than pieces made for human beings. This pair of earrings features the Hindu god Vishnu seated cross-legged riding his mount the man-eagle Garuda. Garuda's arms are outstretched, grabbing the tails of serpents whose braided bodies snake up both sides of each earring. His wings drape like a cape behind him, and his talons clutch his crescent moon perch. Serpent hoods rise up behind Vishnu like a canopy.

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  • Title: Earring with Four-Armed Vishnu Riding Garuda with Nagas (serpent divinities)
  • Date Created: 1600s or 1700s
  • Physical Dimensions: Overall: 3.6 cm (1 7/16 in.)
  • Type: Jewelry
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1915.346.1
  • Medium: repousse gold with pearls
  • Fun Fact: Vishnu and Garuda are solar deities, and they sit on the crescent moon, so the light of both celestial bodies shines from these earrings.
  • Department: Indian and Southeast Asian Art
  • Culture: Nepal, Kathmandu Valley
  • Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Wade
  • Collection: Nepalese Art
  • Accession Number: 1915.346.1

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