Vamana Avatar

Vamana (dwarf) is the fifth incarnation (avatara, literally ‘descent’) of Vishnu. In a battle between the gods and the demons, the gods were defeated. Vishnu then appears in the guise of a dwarf and asks the king of the demons, Bali, for a small piece of land that he can enter in three steps. Bali agrees. Vishnu turns into a giant figure and steps across the earth, the underworld and the heavens. According to another tradition, with one step he conquers the heavens and the earth, with the second step the universe. Since there is no room for the third step, Bali offers its own head. This form of Vishnu is also called Trivikrama (Sanskrit: three steps).

Black ink, color and silver paint, and graphite underdrawing on paper


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1800 – 1900

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