Exercise weight with scene of Krishna killing the horse-demon Keshi
late Kushan period
India (Uttar Pradesh, Mathura)
H. 9 13/16 in. (25 cm); W. 19 11/16 in. (50 cm); D. 3 in. (7.6 cm)
Samuel Eilenberg Collection, Gift of Samuel Eilenberg, 1987
Not on view
Here, Vishnu assumes his earthly appearance (avatar) as the youthful Krishna, slaying the demon Keshi who attacks in the guise of a horse. This subject very probably has its origins in Hellenistic legends, most notably the labors of Hercules in which the Greek hero slays the horses of Diomedes. The martial prowess of this subject, in which Krishna slays the horse-demon with his bare hands, is an appropriate choice for a bodybuilder's exercise weight.