This pillar from the railing of a Buddhist monument demonstrates Lee's penchant for the unusual and the beautiful, as it reflects the influence of Hellenistic culture on Indian art, specifically Gandharan Buddhist sculptures with bacchanalian themes (madhupana).
The pillar depicts female figures who, seemingly intoxicated, play instruments and dance. Vessels-such as a large two-handled vase (kantharos) and a broken rhyton-allude to the Greek god of wine, Dionysus. The grapevines and the celestial musicians-who play a lyre, castanets, and a triangular harp-also evoke bacchanalian connotations.
Two additional scenes decorate the base. First, a hunchbacked woman pours wine for an obese male fertility figure (yaksha). The second scene probably illustrates the story of the ogress who ate her victims before falling in love and marrying a young Brahmin, with whom she bore a bodhisattva.
The Sikri sandstone from which the pillar was made suggests that a Mathura artist trained in the Gandharan tradition created the piece.