Matsya is the avatar of the Hindu God Vishnu in the form of a fish. Matsya is believed to symbolise the first stage of evolution; as aquatic life harboured the first signs of life on Earth.
Often listed as the first avatar of the ten primary avatars of Vishnu, he is described to have rescued the first man, Manu. Matsya is depicted in this artwork anthropomorphically with a human torso connected to the rear half of a fish.
The upper half resembles Vishnu with four hands with all the main attributes namely the Sudarshana Chakra (The Lord's Wheel) and a Shanka (conch shell). He is depicted in the ocean.
The story of a great deluge is found in many civilizations across the earth; and is related to the Genesis narrative of the flood and Noah's ark.
And like Noah, Manu is advised by Matsya to collect all the grains of the world in a boat and in some versions even the living creatures so that when the flood destroys the world Manu survives by boarding the ark which Matsya pulls to safety.
This artwork is part of Suham's Dashavatara series refers to the ten avatars of Vishnu, the Hindu god of preservation. Vishnu is said to descend in form of an avatar in different time periods to restore cosmic order.