Related Objects
Current Location:
Lake Michigan Hall -> 2nd Floor (LMH)
Location Notes:
LMH; 2nd flr

Lord Ganesha With Mouse

Artist Unknown
GVSU Collection
Giclée (Original is in the GVSU Permanent Collection)
Artworks - Height: 30 in Width: 22 in
Traditional ink/color-style Indian decorative; illustration of orange goddess with long black hair and yellow elephant trunk. Four arms, brightly-colored clothing standing in tree pose (yoga; right foot up, tucked into left thigh). Vines and flowers around her, curtain-like formations near top, small brown mouse in lower left. Rust red-orange border.
Historical Context:
Ganesh, the god of knowledge and wisdom, is one of the most popular gods in all of India. He brings prosperity by removing obstacles that could block the path of success. In the beginning of any undertaking and every journey, Hindus pray to Ganesh for blessings. With his human body and elephant head, he represents the microcosm and macrocosm. The elephant is a symbol of the human potential to become enlightened. A unique combination of Ganesh's elephant head and his quick moving tiny mouse as vehicle represents tremendous wisdom, intelligence, presence of mind, and modesty. He has four hands and carries a noose as a gentle implement to capture all the difficulties, an axe to cut off the attachments, and a sweet dessert ball (laddoo) to reward for spiritual activity. The palm of his one hand is always extended to bless people. Ganesh is the elder son of Shiva and Parvati. For the artists, the men and women of the villages in India, the art is not just a profession or passion. It is their way of life. Creating these paintings has been part of their daily social and religious rituals. It began with painting the walls and floors of their mud houses from the belief that it purified the ambiance and pleased the deities. The themes are mainly religious; execution rougher compared to refined mainstream art, but the approach is bold, and conception is imaginative and spontaneous.

Wikipedia Summary:

Indian Art consists of a variety of art forms, including plastic arts (e.g., pottery and sculpture), visual arts (e.g., cave paintings), and textile arts (e.g., woven silk). Geographically, it spans the entire Indian subcontinent, including what is now India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. A strong sense of design is characteristic of Indian art and can be observed in its modern and traditional forms.

The origin of Indian art can be traced to pre-historic Hominid settlements in the 3rd millennium BC. On its way to modern times, Indian art has had cultural influences (e.g., Indus Valley and Hellenistic), as well as religious influences such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam. In spite of this complex mixture of religious traditions, generally the prevailing artistic style at any time and place has been shared by the major religious groups.

In historic art, sculpture in stone and metal, mainly religious, has survived the Indian climate better than other media, and provides most of the best remains. Many of the most important ancient finds that are not in carved stone come from surrounding, drier regions rather than India itself. Indian funeral and philosophic traditions exclude grave goods, which are a main source of ancient art in other cultures.