A folio from a Bhagavata Purana series: Vishnu, as Vamana Avatar, visits Mahabali, and then becomes Trivikrama Attributed to the first generation after Manaku and Nainsukh of Guler, circa 1780-90
Lot 185
A folio from a Bhagavata Purana series: Vishnu, as Vamana Avatar, visits Mahabali, and then becomes Trivikrama
Attributed to the first generation after Manaku and Nainsukh of Guler, circa 1780-90
Sold for £122,500 (US$ 163,661) inc. premium

Lot Details
A folio from a Bhagavata Purana series: Vishnu, as Vamana Avatar, visits Mahabali, and then becomes Trivikrama
Attributed to the first generation after Manaku and Nainsukh of Guler, circa 1780-90
gouache and gold on paper, pink border with dark blue and gold margins, in mount
305 x 383 mm.

Footnotes

  • Provenance: collection of the late Pearl King (1918-2015).

    The asura (demon) king Mahabali defeated the gods and became lord of all three worlds; swarga-loka (the celestial realm), bhu-loka (earth) and pa-tala (the subterranean realm). He was a generous ruler and loved by all. The defeated gods approached Vishnu for help. Vishnu descended on earth as Vamana, the dwarf, his fifth avatar as mentioned in the Bhagavata Purana. In the guise of a Brahmin carrying a wooden umbrella and an alms bowl, Vishnu went to Mahabali and requested for three paces of land. The benevolent king agreed without a moment's hesitation. Vamana instantly grew to gigantic proportions. With two steps he took over the sky and the earth. With his third step, he pushed Mahabali into the subterranean realm. Vishnu is depicted here in his giant form as Trivikrama with his multiple arms holding his various attributes. Brahma pours offerings on his raised foot which is reaching for the sky. The asura king Mahabali stands before him with his hands folded while demon attendants are shown hiding in fear.

    The gold and blue margins of our folio along with the red tent panel with decorative border, the open frame prayer mandapa with flags and the facial features of Vishnu and Mahabali can be compared with a painting in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Krishna slays King Shushupala, from Guler dated 1780, museum no.81.216. For illustration see Joseph M. Dye III, The Arts of India, Virginia, Richmond, 2001, cat. no. 147, pg.343.

    For a note on the first generation of artists after Manaku and Nainsukh of Guler, see lot 184.
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