A leaf from ancient records and files acts as the base on which this stupendously painted stands. Resting against a bolster, Ganesha sits in a frontal body position with his head turned towards the right. A protruding structure on his head holds an elaborate terraced crown, a karanda mukuta. Mark of Shaivites, the horizontal lines on the forehead are prominently painted. On the side of his forehead hangs a crescent moon, due to which he is called Bala-Chandra, a form especially worshipped by esoteric sects. Two of his hands hold the usual attributes, a spear and a bowl of modakas; one hand is on the knee and the other holds a rosary. He wears numerous strings on the neck, some of which hang down his belly. Folds in the dress as Ganesha crosses his legs are effectively painted. As in many representations, the head is that of an elephant but the limbs are human. If studied closely, this image gives an impression of a masked head, as the face color is different from the rest of the body.
Ganesha's mount, the rat is insignificantly painted, maybe an afterthought by the painter who got too engrossed in painting Lord Ganesha's picture with his heart and soul as with brilliant colors.
This description by Renu Rana.
The beloved elephant-faced-Deity popularly known as Ganesha has intrigued thinking men all over the world, all through the ages even unto the present day. The sacred texts give a variety of stories narrating the sequence of Ganesha's birth. The most popular being the one mentioning that Ganesha was created by Goddess Parvati as a guardian to her privacy:
Incensed by the refusal of her husband to respect her privacy, to the extent of entering her private chambers even while she was having her bath, Parvati decided to settle matters once and for all. Before going for her bath the next time, she rubbed off the sandalwood paste on her body and out of it created the figure of a young boy. She infused life into the figure and told him he was her son and should guard the entrance while she bathed.
Soon after, Shiva (Lord of destruction and husband of Parvati,) came to see Parvati but the young boy blocked his way and would not let him in. Shiva, unaware that this lad was his son, became furious and in great anger fought with this boy whose head got severed from his body in the ensuing battle. Parvati, returning from her bath, saw her headless son and threatened in her rage to destroy the heavens and the earth, so great was her sorrow.
Shiva pacified her and instructed his followers (known as ganas) to bring the head of the first living being they encounter. The first creature they encountered was an elephant. They thus cut off its head and placed it on the body of Parvati's son and breathed life into him. Thus overjoyed, Parvati embraced her son.
The son of Parvati was given the name Ganesha by Shiva. The word Ganesha is made up of gana (followers of Shiva) and isha (lord), thus Shiva appointed him the lord of his ganas.
The artist has used an old Jaipur State stamp paper. Such papers carry the official seal of the Jaipur state, and were in use before India's independence (1947).