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The elephant-headed god Ganesha
SMV 77-7-50
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Works of art from the Chola Dynasty (12th/13th century) of South India belong to the best art works India has ever produced. The proportions are full of harmony, the surface is smooth without protruding muscles and bones. The figure is self sufficient and emanates deep inner peace. The deep brown greenish patina might indicate ancient provenance of the figure, but it is not clear, whether it really belongs to the chola period.

History of the Object
Collected by Robert Gedon, Honorary Consul of India, between 1960 and 1975 on the European art market. Purchased by the Bavarian Government for our Museum in 1977.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Bronze 
Measurements
Height 49 cm  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
India; South India 
Geography
India 
Time period
AD 12th century ~ AD 12th century 
Creation date
12th Century - 13th Century; Chola style of the 12th/13th century 
Function
Today Ganesha is one of the most popular deities of the Shaiva pantheon. He is honoured as the god who puts aside hindrances and overcomes all obstacles. He is called for support in all kinds of undertakings like journeys, the writing of a book, exams etc. He is the patron of merchants, scientists, and students. He is also the protector of the house. The eyes at the base of the figure tell us, that it was carried during sacred processions on a big pedestal. So he might have come from a south Indian Hindu temple. 
Acquisition
Purchased by the Bavarian Government for the museum in 1977. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
State Property, Germany 
Museum
Five Continents Museum, Munich 
Credit line
State Museum of Ethnology, Munich, Germany 

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