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Asian Art

Hindu God Ganesha

7th–8th century

Sandstone

21 1/4 × 15 9/16 × 5 7/8 in., 75 lb. (54 × 39.5 × 15 cm, 34.02 kg)
Gift of John D. Viener, B.A. 1961
2017.25.1
One of the most popular gods in Hinduism, Ganesha acquired his characteristic elephant head when his father, the god Shiva, accidentally beheaded him and was forced by his mother, the goddess Parvati, to replace Ganesha’s missing head. In this piece, the placement of Ganesha’s bent legs suggests that he is dancing. He holds an ax in his upper right hand, an attribute that illustrates his ability to cut through illusions, and there is a small image of a rat, Ganesha’s mount, on the front of the rectangular plinth.
Geography: 
India
Status: 
On view
Culture: 
Indian
Period: 
7th–8th century
Classification: 
Sculpture
Provenance: 

Private American collection; Kapoor Galleries, New York; John D. Viener 1986 - 2017; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

This work appears on our "Antiquities and Archaeological Material with Provenance Documentation Gaps" page.
Bibliography: 

“Acquisitions July 1, 2016–June 30, 2017,” https://artgallery.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/bulletin/Pub-Bull-acquisitions-2017.pdf (accessed December 1, 2017).

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.