www.IndianMiniaturePaintings.co.uk - Indian miniature painting: From a series of Vishnu Avataras: Yagya. Jaipur, circa 1860


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From a series of Vishnu Avataras: Yagya. Jaipur, circa 1860. Opaque watercolour with gold on used ledger paper. 24.1 x 19.2cm

This avatara is belongs to the classifications extending beyond the Dasavataras of 10. The Contemporary English inscriptions front and back must be the original owner's interpretation of Manvantara. Millions of years ago during the time of Svayambhuva Manvantara, Indra (king of the gods) was absent so Vishnu took the form of Yajna to hold his post. Yajna is shown using a mudra (hand gesture) which blocks the sense of hearing similar to yoni mudra which blocks all five senses. Ledger sheets were commonly recycled to use for painting at the time due to the high cost of wasli, the hand made paper specifically for paintings. Used ledger paper was pasted together in the same manner as the rag-paper pasted together to form wasli.

My thanks to the kindness of Tarum Pant for identifying this avatara.

Ref: Jaipur Avatara 000383

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Images and text © Peter Blohm