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.