Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Camel with Packboards and Baggage

6th–7th century
China or Central Asia
Earthenware with pigment
H. 11 in. (27.9 cm); W. 11.5 in. (29.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 2000
Accession Number:
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.
Tai Sing Fine Antiques Ltd. , Hong Kong, until 2000; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Glimpses of the Silk Road: Central Asia in the First Millennium," 2002.

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