Known as Hinduism’s gentle god

The Vishnu: Hinduism’s Blue-Skinned Savior exhibit, which closed in October at the Brooklyn Museum, was the first major museum exhibition centered on Vishnu, one of Hinduism’s three major deities.  The show served as a brief survey of Hindu art from the 4th through 20th century via approximately 170 paintings, sculptures, and ritual objects.

Known as Hinduism’s gentle god, Vishnu can be identified in paintings by his silvery-blue skin.  And what beautiful paintings these are.  The color palette in each depiction is saturated, bold, and sophisticated in composition too.

Vishnu Saving the Elephant (Gajendra Moksha). India,mid-18th century. Opaque watercolor and gold on paper, 8 1/16 x 5 9/16 in. (20.5 x 14.1 cm). Collection of Kenneth and Joyce Robbins

The turmeric-tinged accents (see Vishnu’s clothing) are especially impactful in each palette.

This orange-yellow is not used nearly enough in interior design!

Lakshmi Massaging the Foot of Vishnu. Northern India (Punjab Hills, possibly Basohli), circa 1765–70. Opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper, 10 3/4 x 7 3/8 in. (27.3 x 18.7 cm). Collection of Catherine and Ralph Benkaim

Krishna and Radha in a Grove. Northern India (Rajasthan, Kota), circa 1720. Opaque watercolor and gold on paper, 7 1/2 x 4 3/8 in. (19 x 11.1 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky Fund, 2003.178a, b. © The Metropolitan Museum of Art / Art Resource, NY

Varaha Rescuing the Earth, page from an illustrated Dashavatara series. India, circa 1730–40. Opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper, 10 1/2 x 8 1/8 in. (26.7 x 20.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum Collection, by exchange, 41.1026

vishnu

Krishna Fluting for the Gopis, page from an illustrated Dashavatara series. Northern India (Punjab Hills, Mankot), circa 1730. Opaque watercolor and gold on paper, 10 1/4 x 8 in. (26 x 20.3 cm). Collection of Catherine and Ralph Benkaim

A detail of Vishnu in this painting:

Here’s to more turmeric tones in interiors.

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Photo Credits:  Brooklyn Museum Fitness Magazine

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Author: Sarah Sarna

Interior Designer and Editor helping intelligent women unlock their style and own it, à la: decorating, fashion, beauty, and beyond.