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The Hindu deity Ganesha
Place of Origin: Tamil Nadu state, India
Date: approx. 1000-1200
Materials: Granite
Style or Ware: Late Chola
Dimensions: H. 34 in x W. 19 1/2 in x D. 12 in, H. 86.4 cm x W. 45.7 cm x D. 30.5 cm
Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection
Department: South Asian Art
Collection: Sculpture
Object Number: B63S45+
On Display: No

Description

Label:

Ganesha is a remover of obstacles, and the worshiper who honors him before any undertaking—including the worship of other gods—is ensured success.

Crowned and bejeweled, as befitting his status as one of India's most beloved gods, Ganesha is represented grasping objects frequently associated with him: a battle axe, a lotus, a bowl of favorite sweets, and a lasso. Ganesha's elephant head, like his multiple arms, is a mark of his divine nature, and various myths explain how he acquired it. The most popular recounts how the goddess Parvati desired a child and single-handedly created Ganesha. Her husband, the god Shiva, mistakenly beheaded Ganesha but restored him to life by replacing his human head with that of an elephant. Elephants carry complex symbolism in the Indian cultural world. Because they are thought to resemble rain clouds in color and shape, they have long been associated with fertility and prosperity.


More Information

Exhibition History: "Ganesha: The Elephant-Headed God", Philbrook Museum of Art, 4/10/1988 - 5/15/1988
"Ganesha: The Elephant-Headed God", Asian Art Museum, 11/15/1986 - 3/1/1987
"Hindu Deities", San Francisco International Airport, United Terminal, August 10, 2012 - March 4, 2013
Label:

Ganesha is a remover of obstacles, and the worshiper who honors him before any undertaking—including the worship of other gods—is ensured success.

Crowned and bejeweled, as befitting his status as one of India's most beloved gods, Ganesha is represented grasping objects frequently associated with him: a battle axe, a lotus, a bowl of favorite sweets, and a lasso. Ganesha's elephant head, like his multiple arms, is a mark of his divine nature, and various myths explain how he acquired it. The most popular recounts how the goddess Parvati desired a child and single-handedly created Ganesha. Her husband, the god Shiva, mistakenly beheaded Ganesha but restored him to life by replacing his human head with that of an elephant. Elephants carry complex symbolism in the Indian cultural world. Because they are thought to resemble rain clouds in color and shape, they have long been associated with fertility and prosperity.


Exhibition History: "Ganesha: The Elephant-Headed God", Philbrook Museum of Art, 4/10/1988 - 5/15/1988
"Ganesha: The Elephant-Headed God", Asian Art Museum, 11/15/1986 - 3/1/1987
"Hindu Deities", San Francisco International Airport, United Terminal, August 10, 2012 - March 4, 2013