Pala Black Stone Stele of Ganesha

SKU: MS.0084

Origin: Northeastern India
Circa: Pala period, 10th - 11th century AD
Dimensions: 21" Height (53.3 cm.)
Medium: Stone

Seated in lalitasana with his pendant foot resting on the rat, Ganesh is seen here holding a mala, a radish, and a bowl of sweets in three of his hands while the fourth comfortably rests on the handle of an axe. The elephant god is clad in a short dhoti with the folds hanging over the edge of the base and adorned with a beaded sacred thread and necklace.  The refined face, long curled trunk and downcast eyes are flanked by wide ears, while the hair is arranged on top of his head in a short chignon and secured with a beaded headband. The entire composition is surrounded by a flaming aureole.

Private collection, Europe, acquired in New York, 27 November 1991

Surface wear and abrasions throughout with losses to the upper portion of the trunk and lower left hand. Chips to both lower corners with some loss at the uppermost center of the aureole.

Depending on his form, Ganesha can be depicted with between two to sixteen arms. The present example is shown with four arms holding his standard attributes. Many are familiar with Ganesha's penchant for sweets, hence the bowl and his belly, while the radish symbolizes abundance. It is thought that Ganesha encourages his devotees to grow more radishes than they need, perhaps so that they will offer him the excess.



Pala Black Stone Stele of Ganesha


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