Author: Vasant Choudhury
Translator(s)/ Editors(s): Gopinath Ghosh/Debashis Gayen
Publisher: Indian Museum Calcutta
ISBN/UPC (if available): N/A
Ganesa, literally the lord of 'ganas' is the most universally adored of all the Brahmanical deities. The god has been conceived as 'vigneswara', the lord of obtacles, 'vighantaka', the remover of calamities, 'siddhidata', the bestower of success and the divine scribe which gained him the reputation as patron of letters. This colorful album printed on art paper features one hundred images of Ganesh from the collection of Vasant Chowdhury.
Collecting images of Ganesh - mostly small in size, and both classical and folk examples - was one of the passions of Vasant Chowdhury. Diversity of Ganesh's representations is astonishing. The elephant-headed god has at least thirty-two forms. Sometimes, he has two arms; at other times, four, six, eight, ten , twelve, sixteen, or even eighteen arms. Each of these may hold a different attribute out of about forty items . He can be shown dancing or sporting with his wives.
This collection of Ganesa icons developed over four decaed through the sustained effort of enthusiam and passion by Vasant Chowdhury, the celebrated actor and art connoisseur, was bequeathed to Indian Museum in the year 2000. Mostly of miniature size these icons betray varied style and iconography ranging in date between the 9th and 20th century, executed in multifarious medium of expression such as stone, metal, wood, terracotta, porcelain, crystal and semi-precious gems. Stylistically some betraying the sophisticated traits of mediaeval classicism and others bearing the naïve expressions of folk and tribal art, these Ganesa statuaries hold a significant role in Indian art and iconography.
The Ganesa images of the collection represent multi-armed variety, seated or standing in particular fashion, posited in dancing attitude, demonstrating the yogic forms or manifesting some tantrik postures.
This catalogue 'Ganadevata: Hundred Ganesa Icons from Vasant Chowdhury in the Collection of Indian Museum' has been prepared with the dedicated erfforts of staff of Indian Museum.
1. Vasant Chowdhury – Jawhar Sircar 2. Collecting Ganesh Images by Vasant Chowdhury 3. Ganesa : An Overview by Dr. Shyamalkanti Chakravarti 4. Ganapati Catalogue by Sipra Chakravarti