An important sandstone figure of Ganesha
Lots which are Art Treasures under the Art and Ant… Read more REGISTERED ANTIQUITY - NON-EXPORTABLE The Ganesha Ganesha, beloved elephant-headed god of prosperity and remover of obstacles, is worshipped throughout India at the beginning of journeys or undertaking of new endeavors. As such, he is often placed at thresholds or entries in private homes, and he is the first deity encountered even in massive, multi-sanctum temple complexes, where he is worshipped with offerings of sweets, fruits, coins, flowers, and freshly cut grass. He is a symbol of abundance, and he is also a paragon of wisdom, having broken off his own tusk and recorded the Mahabharata at the time of its recitation by the great sage Vyasa. Although he is the son of Shiva and Parvati, Ganesha is honoured by all devotees and is the most popular god in modern India.
An important sandstone figure of Ganesha


An important sandstone figure of Ganesha
India, Madhya Pradesh, circa 10th century
The six-armed elephant-headed god dancing with two legs bent on a rectangular plinth centered by the mouse vahana, wearing belled anklets, closely fitting dhoti secured by a beaded girdle with pendant festoons, arm bangles and tiara with strands of pearls, holding his attributes including a radish and bowl of sweets which he tastes with his curlicued trunk, his face cocked to the side with gentle eyes, and elephant ears fanning open framed by a sunburst halo, flanked by a throne back carrying musicians at base with elephants, lions, makaras, and very finely rendered dancers beside sages inside niches, with four vidyadharas bearing garlands above, the torana centered by a finial, with remains of polychromy clinging to the surface
43 3/4 in. (111 cm.) high
Private collection, Mumbai
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Lot Essay

This masterfully carved Ganesha embodies the energy of present devotion imbued with the authority of the past. His supple body, slender waistline, delicate jewellery, graceful face, and ten arms, together with the elongated proportions and lyrical bends of the accompanying figures, situates the sculpture firmly in the tenth century, when stone carving had reached a superb level of mastery in northern and central India (compare with an example in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, published in Darielle Mason, Gods, Guardians, and Lovers,New York, 1993, p.168, cat. no. 17). During this period, artists made use of the soft local sandstone to create agile figures that belie the heaviness of the material. Working from single blocks of stone, they realized glorious deities surrounded by mythical animals and members of the celestial supporting cast, all carved in deep relief with portions of the stone pierced entirely through, adding negative space to enhance the form. The liveliness of Ganesha's dance similarly belies not only the material but also his corpulent stature. His dance connects him with Shiva, who dances the universe into oblivion, yet Ganesha's dance has a childlike quality that lightens Shiva's cosmic load. Energetically dancing to the classical rhythms of drums and cymbals and the melody of flutes resounding from the gracious musicians at his feet, he carries away all obstacles and grants those who behold him the ability to achieve success.

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