Encountering Vishnu

The Lion in Indian Temple Drama

- Jun 5 2016

Dramas presented during religious festivals in southern India are an important aspect of popular Hindu celebration.

This exhibition highlights five rare wooden sculptural masks that represent a largely unrecorded category of late medieval Indian devotional art. The masks depict the protagonists in a deadly battle between Vishnu in his man-lion avatar, Narasimha, and an evil king whose destruction was essential for the restoration of order in the universe.

Along with the masks, the exhibition will present works in bronze, sandstone, and wood, as well as miniature paintings, lithographic devotional prints, and early photography, all of which illuminate the theme of Vishnu’s divine appearances. Dating from the 6th to the 20th century, the 30 works will be drawn from the Met’s
collection, as well as private collections, and will include an extraordinary seated sandstone Narasimha from the sixth or seventh century.

Credit: Exhibition Overview from the Met Museum website

  • Sculpture
  • Asian
  • Medieval
  • Sacred

Exhibition Venues & Dates