Advanced Search

K-12 Educator
K-12 Student
Museum Visitor
UMMA Docent
UMMA Staff
University Faculty
University Student
Between and Mortarboard


UMMA Object Specific Fields






Query builder

Ganesha, seated on a double lotus throne

Accession Number
1957/2.56

Title
Ganesha, seated on a double lotus throne

Artist(s)
Indonesian

Object Creation Date
11th century

Medium & Support
andesite (volcanic stone)

Dimensions
27 9/16 in x 13 3/4 in x 11 5/8 in (70.01 cm x 34.92 cm x 29.53 cm);27 9/16 in x 13 3/4 in x 11 5/8 in (70.01 cm x 34.92 cm x 29.53 cm)

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Label copy
March 28, 2009
Pot-bellied Ganesha, with his elephant head and curved trunk, is perhaps the most endearing and gentle of the Hindu gods. The elder son of Shiva and Parvati, he is famed for removing obstacles; as such, he is worshipped at the start of any new venture. Scribes, for instance, will inscribe Ganesha’s name before writing anything else, as will students beginning an exam. His presence is also invoked at the onset of religious rituals. Sculptures of the plump god are typically located near the entrance to Hindu temples so that they are among the first encountered in the act of circumambulation. Also, when sweets are prepared for a festival day, the very first portion will be set aside in his name. This stone sculpture from eastern Java suggests that the treats do not go to waste: Ganesha’s trunk drops directly into a bowl of snacks that rests in his left hand.
(Label for UMMA South and Southeast Asia Gallery Opening Rotation, March 2009)

Subject matter
Ganesha, the elephant-headed Hindu deity who removes obstacles.
Pot-bellied Ganesha, with his elephant head and curved trunk, is perhaps the most endearing and gentle of the Hindu gods. The elder son of Shiva and Parvati, he is famed for removing obstacles; as such, he is worshipped at the start of any new venture. Scribes, for instance, will inscribe Ganesha’s name before writing anything else, as will students beginning an exam. His presence is also invoked at the onset of religious rituals. Sculptures of the plump god are typically located near the entrance to Hindu temples so that they are among the first encountered in the act of circumambulation. Also, when sweets are prepared for a festival day, the very first portion will be set aside in his name. This stone sculpture from eastern Java suggests that the treats do not go to waste: Ganesha’s trunk drops directly into a bowl of snacks that rests in his left hand.

Physical Description
Ganesha is shown here seated on a double lotus throne, in a royal posture with the soles of his feet together. He has four arms, and holds two of his attributes in the rear pair: an ax and a rosary. His trunk curls down across his rotund belly to reach for a bowl of sweets that rests in his left forward arm. The cobra slung across his shoulder, now hard to make out because of the centuries of wear of the stone, indicates Ganesha's lineage as the son of the Shiva, in his aspect as the great ascetic. Almost 27 inches high, this sculpture of the Hindu god Ganesha is carved of andesite, a volcanic stone common to the island of Java in Indonesia. Andesite is a soft stone and erodes easily, which is why the carving is no longer crisp.

Primary Object Classification
Sculpture

Primary Object Type
figure

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Hinduism
stone (worked rock)

13 Related Resources

Before 1492
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Hindu Gods and Goddesses
(Part of 6 Learning Collections)
Human-Animal Metamorphosis
(Part of 6 Learning Collections)
Second Grade Tour: Art Rocks
(Part of: Visit UMMA: Curricular Tour Descriptions for Teachers)
Follow Up After Your Visit to UMMA
(Part of: Post-Visit Materials)
Lesson Plan: I Used to Think, But Now I Think
(Part of: Post-Visit Materials)
Second Grade: Art Rocks! Geology and Art
(Part of: Docent Curricular Tours)
Second Grade: Healthy Living Tour    
(Part of: Docent Curricular Tours)
Hinduism
(Part of: World Religions)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved