Seated Ganesha

Date: ca. 15th century

Culture: Thailand

Medium: Bronze

Dimensions: H. 12 3/8 in. (31.4 cm); W. 7 1/4 in. (18.4 cm); D. 5 in. (12.7 cm)

Classification: Sculpture

Credit Line: Gift of Steven Kossak, The Kronos Collections, in honor of Helen Cook, 1983

Accession Number: 1983.512


Ganesha is seated in a cross-legged yogic posture on a raised pedestal with a decorated molding. His dress and adornments are treated in a very restrained fashion that emphasizes the sculptor's concern with pure modeling and manipulation of volumes: he wears a short sampot, a threefold flap of the cloth draped over the right ankle, as well as bracelets, anklets, and snake armbands (both missing their heads). In proper iconographic fashion, the sacred thread is a serpent tied at the left shoulder, and in his right hand Ganesha holds his broken right tusk, in his left an elephant goad. His crown, which originally contained a gem in front and back, is of approximately the same shape as crowns found on sculptures from the later Sukhothai period as well as from the northern schools. Ganesha's trunk extends straight down, curving only at the very end.

Suggestions of later Khmer motifs can still be seen in the schematic treatment of the folds of skin along the cheeks, the rear arrangement of the section of garment drawn between the legs, and, to a lesser extent, the crown. But there is also the sense of the sculptor's delight in emphasizing the corpulence and sheer bulk of the shoulders, chest, belly, and thighs that one finds in South Indian representations of Ganesha.