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|Time required to recreate this artwork:||20 to 24 weeks|
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Lustrous, red hued and abounding in great divine aura, Vijay Ganapati is perceived as a four-armed figure carrying in upper two the elephant goad and a noose, while in the normal right, his broken tusk, and in the normal left, a ripe golden mango which is his most loved fruit. In Vijay Ganapati iconography mouse is not a symbolic or formal motif or presence but his true mount he rides on. It is duly saddled. His figure is usually voluminous and pot-bellied believed to contain inexhaustible treasures of riches and oceans of knowledge that Vijay Ganapati greatly requires in accomplishing his objectives. Alike, he is conceived with a curved trunk endowed with strong grip. However, the Puranas do not specify his seating posture, nor whether his trunk shall be leftwards turned, or rightwards, that is, ‘edampuri’ or ‘valampuri’, the terms used in classical terminology for defining respectively the former and the latter.
This wood statue has been rendered in exact adherence to these classical norms of Vijay Ganapati iconography. As holding the voluminous figure of the elephant god on the figure of a tiny mouse is practically difficult, Vijay Ganapati images are rarely rendered as riding a mouse. However, astonishing and delightfully, the artist of this statue has mounted his image of Vijay Ganapati on the figure of the same tiny mouse, and a horse-like saddled mouse holds him perfectly well, normally and quite decently. As prescribed, Vijay Ganapati is carrying in his four hands goad, noose, broken tusk and a ripe golden mango. Rare in lustre and divine aura the figure has been painted in gold blended with red. Magenta, the colour of his ‘antariya’ and used in other parts for shading, attributes to this reddish gold body-colour further brilliance. The figure has been conceived with a large belly and curved valampuri trunk holding in it another mango and as seated on the back of the mouse in ‘utkut akasana’.
The image carved with finest and characteristic details of figure – iconographic features and anatomy, ornaments to include his towering crown and halo, and costume – loincloth, has been installed inside a ‘prabhavali’ – fire-arch. The beautifully carved ‘prabhavali’ around the figure of Lord Ganesha rises from a hexagonal base consisting of dual lotus moulding along a pair of half columns, one on either side, that hold on their tops a circular three-tiered frame, the outer and the principal one, consisting of stylized lotuses. The inner two rings consist of courses of beads and leaf-design. The ‘prabhavali’, otherwise symbolising cosmos that Vijay Ganapati pervades, creates around the figure great divine aura and a beautiful frame. The fire-arch is topped by Shrimukha symbolising utmost good. Absolute ease, celestial calm and composure, a benign face, large ears, a child-like tender limbs and thoughtful eyes define deity's iconography.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of ancient Indian literature. Dr Daljeet is the chief curator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the National Museum of India, New Delhi. They have both collaborated on numerous books on Indian art and culture.