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Image of Vishnu floating in a temple tank at Budhnilakanth

Image of Vishnu floating in a temple tank at Budhnilakanth

Artist: Oldfield, Henry Ambrose (1822-1871)

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1856

Shelfmark: WD3316

Item number: 3316

Length: 27.6

Width: 35.7

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Watercolour of an image of Vishnu floating in a temple tank at Budhnilakanth in Nepal, by Henry Ambrose Oldfield (1822-1871), c. 1850-1863. The image is inscribed on the reverse: ''Boora (or great) Neel-Khunt' at the foot of the Sheopoory mountain, and about 6 miles from Kathmandoo', together with notes.

The large stone sculpture lying in the walled tank at the foot of Shivapuri Mountain is Narayan, the reclining Vishnu. When Vishnu is seen in this pose it is meant to signify the moment when he was sleeping on the cosmic ocean and out of his navel appeared Brahma, who then creates the universe. This particular sculpture is said to have been brought from the southern hills to this location in the 7th century. The artist, Dr Oldfield, was Residency Surgeon at Kathmandu from 1850-1863. After his death his family published his two volume 'Sketches from Nipal, Historical and Descriptive...' (1880), which described life at the court of the Maharajah Jung Bahadur and also contained descriptions of religious monuments and architecture with illustrations from Oldfield's own drawings.

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