10. Vishnu Yogasana
Himachal Pradesh, India
circa 10th/ 11th century
18 ½ in. (47 cm)
Norton Simon Museum Comparable
Provenance: From the collection of Simon Digby, Oriental Scholar.
This notably large and rare piece from Himachal features Vishnu seated on a lotus, holding a massive conch and wheel in his two upper hands, his lower hands in Dhyanamudra, the elaborate torana with Shiva and Brahma.
A heavily researched piece of “Vishnu and Lakshmi with Avatars” from the same group as the above piece is currently on view in the Norton Simon Museum of Art. Joseph Dye suggested that Rajasthan is the source of the Simon piece and dated it to the 10th century. Martin Lerner gave the Simon piece “a circa 1000 dating and considers it a paradigm of Pratihara period sculpture in metal, showing connections in Rajasthan but created in Himachal Pradesh.” Karl Khandalavala “prefers an early tenth century date (for the Simon Piece) and believes it to be from the upper valleys of the river Jamuna or Sutlej”. Lerner believes the crown of the Simon piece (which is similar to the above piece as well) to be related to sculptures of Himachal Pradesh rather than the plains.
“Between the 10th and 12th centuries, patrons in Himachal Pradesh seem to have made a conscious attempt to adopt architectural and sculptural styles from the plains. This impressive tableau, however, reveals unusual features, adornments, and proportions. If this piece is from Himachal Pradesh, then clearly we are witnessing the handiwork of a sculptor with a strong sense of individuality.” -Dr. Pratapaditya Pal in regards to the Norton Simon Vishnu and Lakshmi with Avatars, P.44, Vol. 2, Art from the Himalayas and China.