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Four-Armed God Vishnu

A work made of sandstone.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of sandstone.


c. 5th century


Uttar Pradesh, possibly Allahabad region

About this artwork

One of the principal gods of Hinduism, Vishnu is regarded as the preserver of the universe. He stands regally in this sculpture from the Gupta period, wearing a simple crown and a long garland. Originally four-armed, he would have held weapons—a mace, conch, and discus—in three hands. This early image includes a round object, variously interpreted as the earth or a fruit, in his lowered fourth hand. In later images of Vishnu, this hand typically holds a lotus.


On View, Gallery 141


Arts of Asia


Four-Armed God Vishnu


Uttar Pradesh (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

401 CE–500 CE




84.8 × 44.2 × 16.6 cm (33 3/8 × 17 3/8 × 6 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

James W. and Marilynn Alsdorf Collection. Gift of Marilynn Alsdorf

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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