Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Exercise weight with scene of Krishna killing the horse-demon Keshi

late Kushan period
3rd century
India (Uttar Pradesh, Mathura)
H. 9 13/16 in. (25 cm); W. 19 11/16 in. (50 cm); D. 3 in. (7.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Samuel Eilenberg Collection, Gift of Samuel Eilenberg, 1987
Accession Number:
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.
Samuel Eilenberg , New York (until 1987; donated to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Lotus Transcendent: Indian and Southeast Asian Art from the Samuel Eilenberg Collection," October 2, 1991–June 28, 1992.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Krishna: Mythology and Worship," March 1, 2008–July 28, 2008.

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