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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Gouache painting on paper from a set of eight paintings of deities and processional scenes. Gaṇeśa seated on his mount the rat, flanked by two 'ganas' (or 'bhutas' as named in the inscription). He holds his four attributes, one in each hand: the 'pasha' and 'ankusha' in his upper hands, and the broken tusk and the 'laddu' in his lower hands.


  • School/style

  • Date

    • 18thC(late)-19thC(early)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 29.7 centimetres
    • Width: 20.5 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

        pasted to the mount
      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

        Vinayaca Mushica Vahanah. Vinayaca a Ganesha borne by the Large Indian Rat (vul: Bandicoot) and attended by the Bhutas
  • Curator's comments

    Dallapiccola 2010:
    The layout of the paintings resemble the large so-called 'Thanjavur' paintings which hang in private puja rooms and in the meeting halls of religious institutions.

    When this collection was originally acquired, eight paintings in a distinctly Tanjore style (1974,0617,0.14.1-8) were bound together with a collection of thirty paintings (1974,0617,0.14.9-38) that appear to be of a style associated with Maharashtra. The paintings have since all been removed from this binding.


  • Bibliography

    • Dallapiccola 2010 cat. 1.1 bibliographic details
  • Exhibition history


    PROMISED Spotlight Tour: Celebrating Ganesha
    2017 Jan - April, Horniman, London
    2016 Sep - Dec, Venue TBC
    2016 Jun - Sep, Bowes Museum, Durham
    2016 Feb - May, Cartwright Hall, Bradford
    2015 - 2016 Oct - Jan, Museum of Oxford
    2015 Jun - Sep, Russell-Cotes Gallery, Bournemouth

    1990 20 Oct-9 Dec, Japan, Tokyo, Setagaya Art Museum, Treasures of the British Museum, cat. no.150
    1991 5 Jan-20 Feb, Japan, Yamaguchi, Prefectural Museum of Art, Treasures of the British Museum, cat. no.150
    1991 9 Mar-7 May, Japan, Osaka, National Museum of Art, Treasures of the British Museum, cat. no.150

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    3 January 2104

    Reason for treatment

    Temporary Exhibition

    Treatment proposal

    Consolidate fragile pigments.


    Some planar distortion yet this is protected by the deep mount and to be expected with such a thick layer of pigment. Also some old repairs/residues on the verso naturally contribute to this.

    Verso shows previous insect damage to the lining yet stable. Pigments in the central part of the painting appear stable, yet there are existing pigment losses and fragile pigments on the painted border areas, especially at the corners. These areas appear to have been consolidated previously, judging from glue residues on the surface and the positioning of some pigment fragments. Along the LH edge there is a division in the substrate that shows further pigment loss and fragile areas.

    Treatment details

    Areas showing vulnerable pigments were pre-wetted with 40% IMS and then consolidated by inserting strained 2% isinglass mixed with 5% methylcellulose into the cracks, before pressing. Examination under magnification revealed the pigments on the left-hand edge to be much more vulnerable than previously detected, most probably due to the pigments in this area being painted on a thinner substrate than the rest of the painting. These areas were treated further in the same manner. The inlay of the painting was then hinged down to prevent viewers from flexing the sheet and destabilising the pigments further. Photographs of both the verso and inscription (which are now obscured by this hinging) are attached.

    About these records 

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Transferred from the Department of Oriental Manuscripts and Printed Books (OMPB).

  • Department


  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • 26549
Album leaf. General subject - deity. Ganesa on his rat,flanked by 2 members of the Bhutagana. Painted on paper. According to register, folio 2.

Album leaf. General subject - deity. Ganesa on his rat,flanked by 2 members of the Bhutagana. Painted on paper. According to register, folio 2.

Image description



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Object reference number: RFI2089

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