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Large Hardwood Carving of Vishnu Riding Garuda - Bali - Early 20th Century

Hardwood Carving of Vishnu Riding Garuda

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Hardwood Carving of Vishnu Riding Garuda
Hardwood Carving of Vishnu Riding Garuda

Hardwood Carving of Vishnu Riding Garuda
Hardwood Carving of Vishnu Riding Garuda

Hardwood Carving of Vishnu Riding Garuda
Hardwood Carving of Vishnu Riding Garuda

Hardwood Carving of Vishnu Riding Garuda
Hardwood Carving of Vishnu Riding Garuda

Hardwood Carving of Vishnu Riding Garuda

Hardwood Carving of Vishnu Riding Garuda
Hardwood Carving of Vishnu Riding Garuda
A spectacular early antique classic Balinese carving of Vishnu riding Garuda, possibly dating to the late 19th century.

He sits astride the shoulders of Garuda who, whilst clasping Vishnu's feet, stands with his wings and tail-feathers outstretched, in turn standing on the back of a tortoise (Kurma).

Entwined between the figures, the head of a crowned serpent (Naga) appears.

Both Vishnu and Garuda are adorned with elaborate jewellery and clothing to their shoulder and chest's and each wear a crown.


This Hindu sculpture is steeped in symbolism.
Vishnu, being the Hindu cosmic protector and preserver God, represents mercy and goodness.
The more important Hindu gods are associated with particular animals that become their vehicles (vahanas).
To this end, Vishnu, the second god of the Hindu triad (known as the Trimurti) rides the mythical Garuda or Eagle King, a giant creature with the features of a human and of a bird.
Garuda is considered powerful and possesses supernatural forces himself, which he uses only for good and is also a protector and rescuer of people from difficulties.
Created from the cosmic egg he was fully mature when hatched. Garuda easily traverse's the universe from end to end and the flapping of his wings symbolizes the power of the Divine Truth of Vedic wisdom.
Also the eagle is said to represent the soul.
Garuda stands on top of a tortoise that, according to the Puranas and the Mahabharata, symbolises Vishnu as Kurma acting as a pivot and supporter of Mount Mandara during periods of universal imbalance between good and evil.
Vishnu, as preserver, stops the mount sinking enabling the ocean to keep churning, or balance to be restored.


A stunning and large sculpture with quite some age. Great centre piece.


Vishnu's left arm missing
Portion of Garuda bottom beak missing
Top part of serpent beak missing
Losses to several wing tips
Other small chips to extremities

Measures:
17 1/2" ( 44.5 cm ) high



Item no; SEA010103-88
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© Copyright; Richard Willsher Antique Asian Art 2011

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