Himalayan Art Resources

Hindu Deity: Vishnu Iconography

Vishnu Main Page

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Principal Iconographic Forms
--- One face, two hands (Standing)
--- One face, four hands (Standing, most common form*)
--- One face, four hands (Seated)
--- One face, six hands
--- One face, eight hands
--- Three faces, four hands
- Masterworks
- Confusions: Surya, Amoghapasha, Avalokiteshvara
- Others...

- The God Vishnu
- Vishnu in a Buddhist Context

The most common form of the god found in sculpture representations is the one faced and four armed, standing, Vishnu.

Ten Avatars of Vishnu:
These ten avatars, or incarnations, of Vishnu are divided into four periods of time or ages of the world. In the first age are the Fish, Tortoise, Boar and Man-lion incarnations. In the second age are the Dwarf, Rama with an Axe and Rama of the Ramayana Epic. For the third age is Krishna. The fourth age is represented by the Buddha and Kalki. Kalki has yet to come.
--- Matsaya Avatar
--- Kurma Avatar
--- Varaha Avatar
--- Narasimha Avatar
--- Vamana Avatar
--- Parashu Rama Avatar
--- Krishna Avatar
--- Bala Rama Avatar
--- Buddha Avatar
--- Kalki Avatar

Other Forms & Related Gods:
--- Vaikuntha Kamalaja
--- Vaishnavi (related to Vishnu)
--- Varahi (related to Varaha Avatar)
--- Narasimhi (related to Narasimha Avatar)
--- Lakshmi
--- Garuda
--- Others...

Jeff Watt [added 4-2020]

(The images below are only a selection of examples from the links above).