Posted on: 28 August 2015

Vishnu and Lakshmi Seated on a Lotus Blossom
Early 1900s
India, Pahari Hills, Kangra school
Ink and color on paper

Source: The Cleveland Museum of Art

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The figure of Laxmi is holding an envelop or a sort of clutch in her hand!

vishnuji holding a purse !

Yup its actually Vishnuji holding the clutch or envelope!

What does it represent?

Its not Vishnu and Lakshmi! Rare Book Society of India its Guru with his Shakti seated inside the cranium lotus of Sahasrara as per mahanirvana tantra :P

I would like to make a point of dissent. Based on whatever I have learnt in my Indology class, I don't think it is Vishnu-Lakshmi, but infact Shiv -Parvati. This is what we were taught - 1. In old times, Vishnu was always shown with Shanka, Chakra, Gada or Padma in his hands. These were the 4 symbols to identify Vishnu. Atleast 1 or 2 were always present. Here they are missing. 2. There is a 3rd eye. Again, Vishnu does not have a 3rd eye. Shiva does. 3. The lady is sitting on his thigh with her arm around him. This is a very typical Shiv-Shakti tantrik representation. Lakshmi is never shown sitting on Vishnu's thigh. All religious painting strictly followed the above conventions, and there was no departure. And based on these deductions, even I think it is Shiva-Parvati.

Why is this in Cleveland.

3rd eye diktha hai..bhasm nahi thankful

sorry did not see complete message,,,it was hidden when i looked

absolutely right Prantik gupta and guru as a mahayogi or shiva as he is having the third eye of super consciousness..

There is nothing though to indicate Shiva & Parvati either. The hands are empty, accept for the "purse". And there are no revealing vahanas either. But regardless Shiva doesn't wear a crown.

There are many miniatures where Shiva does wear a crown. But see the third eye and the tantrik mudra of Parvati on Shiva's lap. These two are unmistakable.

You may be right. But this is the source of the painting:

hmm just seen ...they have provided wrong details

its common to most western art museums dealing with such pieces

the idea of showing the consort in lap is the most common occurrence irrespective of vaishnavite,shaivite or any sect in classical representations throughout india and is still a prevalent norm in southern murals and sculptures ... it does not point towards any specialty... but yes the third eye and crescent are quintessential attributes of a shaiva or shakta depiction

whats in the envelope ??