Dancing Ganesha

Dancing Ganesha

c. 1000

Sandstone

Overall: 61.3 cm (24 1/8 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1961.93

Description

The name Ganesha means "lord (isha) of the demonic dwarfs (gana)," part of Shiva's entourage. They dance and imitate Shiva in humorous ways that inspire his followers' affection. In this sculpture Ganesha's dance mimics the dance of Shiva. Ganesha has six arms instead of four, and he holds a bowl of sweet cakes and a lotus flower instead of a tongue of flame and the drum that relentlessly beats the rhythm of time leading inevitably to destruction. Instead of Shiva's stately bull vehicle, Ganesha's mount is the rat, which evokes full granaries and the prosperity and abundance that they—and the corpulent figure of Ganesha himself—imply.

See also
Collection: 
Indian Art
Type of artwork: 
Sculpture
Medium: 
Sandstone

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