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Twenty-Armed Dancing God Ganesha, Remover of Obstacles

A work made of sandstone.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of sandstone.


10th century


Madhya Pradesh

About this artwork

Ganesha, the elephant-headed son of Shiva and Parvati, is one of South Asia’s most popular deities. Venerated as the “Remover of Obstacles,” the portly god is here shown mid-step performing an exuberant dance while heavenly musicians play instruments at the corners of the frame. Beside Ganesha’s lifted left foot, his rat vahana (mount) peers up at him in adoration. In a feat of artistic virtuosity, the sculptor has carved twenty arms on this Ganesha, which is remarkable both for its quality and iconography. The image originally occupied an exterior wall niche of a temple, perhaps one dedicated to his father Shiva.


On View, Gallery 141


Arts of Asia


Twenty-Armed Dancing God Ganesha, Remover of Obstacles


Madhya Pradesh (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

901 CE–1000




67.6 × 42 × 21 cm (26 5/8 × 16 1/2 × 8 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

James W. and Marilynn Alsdorf Collection. Gift of Marilynn Alsdorf

Reference Number


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