According to Hindu tradition, the god Vishnu has descended to earth on many occasions, each time in a different form known as an avatar. In standard lists, the first four avatars of Vishnu are animals: a fish, a tortoise, a wild boar, and a lion. In a lecture titled “Many Shades of Blue: The Animal Avatars of Vishnu,” Dr. Joan Cummins, Lisa and Bernard Selz Senior Curator of Asian Art at the Brooklyn Museum, recounts the stories of these animal avatars, looking at the many beautiful and charming ways that poets and artists have depicted the distinct personalities of these divine beasts.
This lecture has been made possible through the generous financial support of the Christian Humann Foundation and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.
To learn more about the Avatars of Vishnu exhibition, click HERE.