Camel with Dionysian imagery on its saddle bags
Not on view
This pottery model of a Bactrian camel may be a rare example of a Chinese-style tomb figure produced in eastern Central Asia. The identity of the central figure on the packboards is uncertain. He may represent the Indian Kubera, king of the yakshas, who is portrayed in drinking scenes being waited on by women. However, the full beard and absence of headgear are unusual in depictions of Kubera. Another interpretation of the scene is that the three figures were inspired by representations of the Descent from the Cross, an important theme in early Christian iconography that may have been transmitted along the Silk Road.
This artwork is meant to be viewed from right to left. Scroll left to view more.