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Creator Nationality: Asian; Indian Sub-Continent; Indian
Creator Dates/Places: North Indian
Creator Active Place: North Indian
Creator Name-CRT: North Indian
Title: Ganesha
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 700
Creation End Date: 799
Creation Date: 8th century
Creation Place: India, Uttar Pradesh
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: sandstone
Dimensions: H. 49 1/2 in. (125.7 cm)
AMICA Contributor: Asia Society
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1979.013
Credit Line: Asia Society: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection
Context: Ganesha, the son of Shiva, is one of three principal deities in the Hindu pantheon. His lion-skin skirt (barely visible on this sculpture), the snake in his headdress, his matted hair, and his dancing posture all signify his relationship to Shiva, who also bears these attributes. In this representation, ten-armed Ganesha is accompanied by several musicians, arrayed around his head and playing cymbals or drums. Seven of Ganesha's hands form gestures commonly used in dance, while the other three hold a rosary, a snake, and a broken tusk. The tusk alludes to a well-known tale in which the portly Ganesha hurls a tusk at the moon in embarrassment after the moon sees his stomach burst from overeating.

The large size and frontal posture of this sculpture indicate that it was placed in a prominent position on the exterior of a temple wall. Temples are important in Hindu worship, and a staggering number, ranging from undecorated brick buildings to enormous temple complexes, were built from the 7th through the 14th centuries. Each Hindu temple is dedicated to a specific god and functions as a symbol for the cosmos. Stone sculptures decorate the interiors and exteriors of the more elaborate temples.

Related Document Description: Asia Society. Handbook of the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection. New York: Asia Society, [1981], p. 11.
Related Document Description: Chandra, Pramod. The Sculpture of India: 3000 B.C.-A.D. 1300. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 1985, pp. 112-13.
Related Document Description: Courtright, Paul B. Ganesa: Lord of Obstacles, Lord of Beginnings. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985, pl. 1.
Related Document Description: Lee, Sherman E. Asian Art: Selections from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd--Part II. New York: Asia Society, 1975, pp. 17, 20.
Related Document Description: Newman, Richard. The Stone Sculpture of India: A Study of the Materials Used by Indian Sculptors from ca. 2nd Century B.C. to the 16th Century. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Art Museums, Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, 1984, pp. 44, 75, 84.
Related Document Description: Robbins, Kenneth X. 'The Sculpture of India: A Review.' Arts of Asia 15 (September-October 1985), p. 108.
Related Document Description: Sutton, Denys. 'Search for Perfection.' Apollo (November 1983), p. 364.
AMICA ID: ASIA.1979.013
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, Asia Society

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