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Shallow bowl with schematized animal motif


Artwork Details

Shallow bowl with schematized animal motif
12th century - 13th century
earthenware coated with white slip and painted designs in green and brown
3 3/8 in. x 14 1/2 in. x 14 1/2 in. ( 8.6 cm x 36.83 cm x 36.83 cm )
Museum Purchase

On Display

Not currently on display


Subject Matter:

The bizarre bird design is the motif that strikes but it does not develop a complete form. The ornament put within its body and wings do not at all correspond to the naturalistic conceptions. The design at places run into the background lines, giving an all-over effect. The lines are fantastically fluxiating, there is a juxtaposition of the lineations of the main motif and the background that gives a strange continuity; a rhythm over the surface.

This bowl is an example of the distinctive Amol type of sgraffiato ware, its decoration being characteristically assymmetrical and rhythmic. The bird, possibly holding a dish in its mouth, is a frequent motif in this ceramic category and the use of an array of dots, scales and background squiggles is also quite typical.

Physical Description:

This large Iranian plate sits on a small base. The decoration consists of a bird and crude space fillers. The units are outlined in green and incised, in addition to green glazed parts that are not incised. The design is cut through the slip and appears light brown while the exterior is left unglazed and plain red-brown.The plate is mended and appears to have commercial mosaic in parts. The colors are green, light green, yellow, and red-brown. Painted green and brown spots and stripes are combined with scribbled engraving to form often asymmetrical designs.

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