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. One of the Ganesha stories involves a battle with a powerful demon that had been terrorising the gods. One of Ganesha’s tusks was broken during the struggle which speared the demon and transformed him into a rodent which can be seen below Ganesh’s right foot. Accompanying Ganesha is also his entourage of musicians.
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.
- Title: Dancing Ganesha
- Dates: 90 – 1000
- Provenience: Madhya Pradesh, India
- Materials: Sandstone
- Museum: Asian Art Museum – San Francisco
“A beautiful woman belongs to everyone; an ugly one is yours alone.” Indian Proverb
Photo Credit: Joyofmuseums