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Relaxing Ganesha

Relaxing Ganesha

Relaxing Ganesha

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South Indian Temple Wood Carving

7.3 inch X 14.5 inch X 6.2 inch
1.9 kg
Item Code:
XN69
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$175.00
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Viewed 2901 times since 10th Jan, 2013
This exotic form of Lord Ganesha, pleasant and delightful, but so unlike him, neither his four arms nor any of the attributes carried in them : broken tusk, battle-axe, noose, goad or even a ‘laddu’, nor his tiny naughty mouse, represents the elephant god in his most majestic profile : completely at leisure with nothing around, neither a detriment or danger to keep off nor a basket of sweets or bunch of fruits to be dragged by. As if tired of long toiling or just to while away a hot summer afternoon, or has consumed more ‘laddus’ than the abdomen was able to contain, Lord Ganesha has taken to a mattress laid over the bare floor, and lying down is allowing his belly and entire body a fuller stretch giving it some respite, or perhaps, to let ‘the consumed’ subside. Neither a pavilion, nor a terrace or any kind of architecture, his sole refuge is a mattress, though thickly cushioned and tastefully designed and with a bolster, huge and majestic, to support his figure.

The most benign and blissful Lord Ganesha has been portrayed in the statue in his most intimate moments and in great leisure. As reflects in his eyes, though not disturbing his composure, some questions seem to lurk in his mind. Divine quiescence and absolute contentment are the usual bearing of his face but the divine ease – a carefree demeanour, which enshrines his face in this statue, is very rare. Ganesha is the most simple of all deities but the simpleness with which this figure has been carved is rare even to his own form. Carefree he is lying on the mattress like a monarch or royal personage in his ‘khwab-gah’ – bed-chamber. He has under his right arm a huge bolster by which and by his elbowed arm while he supports his heavy figure with the weight and volume of his figure he also holds the bolster in its place not letting it role away.

A simple anatomy : a normal two-armed figure reclining on a mattress with a bolster under his head, the artist has used to reveal the magic of rhythmic curves and twists. While the right arm turns back from the elbow-joint to support his head on its straitened palm, his mildly upward rising head makes with its straightened trunk a downward leap, where, as if corresponding to his pot-belly’s roundness, it twists into a ring. In contrast to the posture of right arm, the left has been straightened along his figure defining it almost in its entirety. The magic continues across the lower part of the figure with the left foot planted firmly on the ground at ninety degree angle, and diagonally, the right, raised skywards. The entire figure has been infused with an absolutely relaxed mood and unadorned simplicity and the artist does not let mythicism or tradition disturb his perception of the most innocent ever benign elephant god.

The anatomy of the figure, rendered with fine strokes, is enormously interesting. Squeezed from both sides his pot-belly has further inflated. The folds which define the belly depict the pressure both from above and below. For evading monotonous flatness the artist has not only diagonally positioned his legs infusing rhythm in them but has also mounted his raised left side by his fully stretched left arm. Like his entire being, and as is the simplicity of form, his ornamentation too is quite simple, balanced and graceful : a moderately tall or rather subdued night-cap like crown perfectly suiting his squeezed figure, a broad necklace and belly-band, both comprising lotus-phalis, a girdle and a few beaded rings around wrists, arms, ankles and feet. His ensemble comprises a simple but gracefully designed loincloth.

This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr. Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of literature and is the author of numerous books on Indian art and culture. Dr. Daljeet is the curator of the Miniature Painting Gallery, National Museum, New Delhi. They have both collaborated together on a number of books.


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