Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries & Historical Sites

Dancing Ganesha (Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore)

Asian Civilisations Museum - Joy of Museums - Dancing Ganesha

Dancing Ganesha

This “Dancing Ganesha” is a sculpture full of movement and represents a favourite theme in South Asian art. Ganesha is one of the best-known and most worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon. This sculpture depicts Ganesha’s role as leader of the boisterous and playful ganas or dwarf follower of Shiva. Two ganas play instruments on either side of the Ganesha and at his feet sits the mouse.

Ganesha’s image can be found throughout India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Nepal. Commercial and cultural contacts extended India’s influence in Asia and Ganesha is one of many Hindu deities who consequently reached many foreign lands.

Devotion to Ganesha is widely spread and extends to Jains and Buddhists. Ganesha’s elephant head makes him easy to identify. He is worshipped as the lord of beginnings and as the lord of removing obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences and the god of intellect and wisdom.

Other highlights from the collection include:

Dancing Ganesha

  • Title:                 Dancing Ganesha
  • Dates:               910
  • Provenience:  Madhya Pradesh, India
  • Materials:        Sandstone
  • Museum:         Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore

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“A beautiful woman belongs to everyone; an ugly one is yours alone.” Indian Proverb

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Photo Credit: JOM