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Boar Incarnation of God Vishnu (Varaha)

A work made of phyllite.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of phyllite.


c. 10th century


Madhya Pradesh

About this artwork

According to Hindu mythology, when the world began to sink under evil and ignorance, the god Vishnu was incarnated as the boar Varaha. He dived into the cosmic ocean to rescue goddess Earth, who is shown standing at the head of the boar. In this avatar, Vishnu also embodies the infinite nature of the cosmos: rows of gods, sages, and animals are carved upon his back. This type of Varaha would usually occupy its own pavilion facing the main entrance of a temple dedicated to Vishnu.


On View, Gallery 141


Arts of Asia


Boar Incarnation of God Vishnu (Varaha)


Madhya 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.

901 CE–1000




56 × 79.5 × 29.7 cm (22 1/16 × 31 5/16 × 11 11/16 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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