This ivory sculpture is from India. It shows the Hindu god Vishnu seated with his consort Lakshmi. Vishnu is usually depicted with a blue human body with four arms. He often carries four objects: a conch shell, a discus, a lotus flower and a mace, representing the sound of creation, the mind, liberation and strength. This sculpture has one arm broken off at the elbow.
Vishnu is one of the three gods in the Hindu 'trimurti': Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. These gods are known as the creator, preserver and destroyer, respectively. Vishnu's consort Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and purity and, as in this sculpture, is often depicted massaging Vishnu's feet.
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