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Sculpture from the Kushan Period
Sculpture from North India, 5th-7th Centuries
Jain sculpture
Sculpture of the Pala Period
Stone Sculpture from Hindu Temples
Sculptures from South India, 8th-9th Centuries
Bronze Sculpture of the Chola Period
Art for the Mughal and Rajput Courts
Hindu Temple Hangings
Buddhist Painting from India, Nepal, and Tibet
Buddhist Painting from India, Nepal, and Tibet
Sculpture from Nepal
Sculpture from the Kushan Period
Two Bodhisattvas from Sri Lanka
India, Tamil Nadu; Chola period (880-1279), 11th century
Copper alloy
H. 21 1/4 in. (54 cm); W. 10 3/4 in. (27.3 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
Ganesha, the son of Parvati and Shiva, is one of the most popular gods of the Hindu pantheon. He is worshipped as the god of good luck and remover of obstacles. Ganesha's elephant head is the result of a quarrel between Shiva and Parvati. Angered by Ganesha's refusal -- at Parvati's request -- to let him see his wife while she was bathing, Shiva cut off Ganesha's head. In order to soothe Parvati, who was devastated with grief, Shiva agreed to replace Ganesha's head with that of the first creature he saw, which happened to be an elephant. Metal images of Ganesha from the Chola period are fairly common as they were carried at the forefront of every temple procession and were essential at temple festivals. As a result, shrines generally commissioned more than one image of the god.
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