Material : Batu Andesite
National Museum of Ethnology
(Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde)
Steenstraat 1, Leiden 2300 AE, The Netherlands
Data Museum :
Stone statue of Ganesha
Measurements Weight: 2500kg
Creator name: unknown
Where it was made: Indonesia, Java
Time period: 13th Century
Function: Representation of Shiva’s son at Singasari Temple
Acquisition: Collected in 1804.
Subsequently transferred to the National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden, in 1841. Moved to the National Museum of Ethnology in 1903.
Owner: State property, the Netherlands
Museum: National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden
Credit line: National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden, the Netherlands
Why this is a masterpiece:
This is one of the masterpieces of the Singasari Empire (13th century, East Java). This statue is particularly expressive. I consider it a masterpiece for scientific historical reasons also. The interpretation of the symbols depicted with Ganesha is still disputed. The skulls are usually explained by referring to Tantrism, a religious conviction of one of the Singasari kings, Kertanagara. Religious ceremonies were held on cremation fields. I am fascinated by another possible explanation. The skulls may also refer to Pre- Hindu ideas on the relationship between death and new life. It is most likely that Hinduism was the religion of the elite and that many original Javanese ideas on life and death still survived among the local population and that these ideas were also visible in the art of the elite. By dr Pieter ter Keurs, Curator Insular Southeast Asian Collections, Leiden.
History of the Object:
This Ganesha comes from the main building of the temple complex, close to the village of Singasari (North of Malang). It was taken from the temple in 1804 by the Dutch Governor of East Java, Nicolaus Engelhard. Among other statues, he placed the Ganesha in his garden in Semarang. In 1819 the Ganesha and other statues were shipped to the Netherlands, but it was only in 1903 that it became part of the collection of the Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde (National Museum of Ethnology).
Janganlah ditangisi bila artefak sejarah kita dimiliki Kolektor dan Museum ASING, mungkin itu dijarah saat masa penjajahan atau dijual orang kita sendiri atau bahkan anak keturunan yang sedang membutuhkan uang.
“AMATI DENGAN SEKSAMA, TANGKAP AURA-NYA. DAN CIPTAKAN YANG LEBIH INDAH DARI ITU. MEREKA TIDAK AKAN PERNAH BISA MENJARAH BAKAT DAN KELUHURAN YANG DIWARISKAN LELUHUR KITA”.