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Panel with the god Zeus/Serapis/Ohrmazd and worshiper

Period:
Kushan
Date:
ca. 3rd century A.D.
Geography:
Bactria
Culture:
Kushan
Medium:
Terracotta, gouache
Dimensions:
H. 56.8 cm, W. 52.3 cm, D. 5.4 cm 43 lbs
Classification:
Ceramics-Paintings
Credit Line:
Purchase, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Gift, 2000
Accession Number:
2000.42.2
  • Description

    This rare Central Asian votive panel depicts a deity (with nimbus) being approached by a male worshiper, probably nonroyal but portrayed as of equal stature to the god. Compositionally, they follow scenes of homage and investiture from the post-Hellenistic West and from Iran in which a king and a god appear side by side. A majestic figure with a full beard and long wavy hair, who has been identified as the supreme deity Zeus/Serapis/Ohrmazd, receives a suppliant in the characteristic Iranian short tunic and leggings, hands clasped in adoration. Here, the rich intercultural style that developed in the Kushan realm is clearly displayed: Indian divine iconography; the Iranian type of two-figured composition; and Greco-Roman naturalism in the drapery and pose, as well as in the use of light and shadow to suggest modeling. The panel has holes at the corners and was probably set up, together with two others acquired by the Museum, on the interior walls of a sanctuary, perhaps a family shrine.

  • Provenance

    By 1932, collection of Yamanaka & Co., Osaka; acquired by the Museum in 2000, purchased from Isao Kurita, Japan.

  • References

    Yamanaka Shōkai. 1932. Sekai kobijutsu tenrankai. Ōsaka: Yamanaka Shōkai, fig. 8.

    Carter, Martha L. 1995. "Oesho and Shiva." Bulletin of the Asia Institute 9, pp. 143-157.

    Carter, Martha L. 1997. "Preliminary Notes on Four Painted Terracotta Panels." South Asian Archaeology 1995: proceedings of the 13th Conference of the European Association of South Asian Archaeologists, Cambridge, 5-9 July, 1995, edited by Raymond Allchin and Bridget Allchin. Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd., pp. 573-588.

    Aruz, Joan. 2000. "Votive panels." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 58 (2), Recent Acquisitions: A Selection 1999-2000 (Autumn 2000), p. 15.

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    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
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