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Conserving the Emperor's Carpet

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Tile Panel

Object Name:
Tile panel
Date:
first quarter 17th century
Geography:
Iran, probably Isfahan
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Stonepaste; polychrome glazed within black wax resist outlines (cuerda seca technique)
Dimensions:
Panel: H. 45 1/2 in. (115.6 cm) W. 54 5/8 in. (138.7 cm) D. 2 9/16 in. (6.5 cm) Each tile: H. 8 7/8 in. (22.5 cm) W. 8 7/8 in. (22.5 cm) Top Mounts: H. 2 3/8 in. (6 cm) W. 2 in. (5.1 cm) D. 1/2 in. (1.3 cm) Bottom mounts: H. 1 in. (2.5 cm) W. 1 in. (2.5 cm) D. 1/2 in. (1.3 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics-Tiles
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1903
Accession Number:
03.9a
  • Description

    Isfahan, the Safavid capital, and Na'in were the two main centers in which buildings were lavishly decorated with tilework. The old tile-making tradition of composing repetitive geometrical or vegetal patterns was kept alive on mosques and madrasas, but an important innovation on secular buildings was a composition of square tiles individually painted as single elements of an outdoor scene with characters set in a garden landscape. These were placed in royal garden pavilions from the time of Shah 'Abbas to that of Shah Sulayman (the last example being the Hasht Bihisht of 1669). The Museum owns three of these panels, all purchased in 1903 and reported to come from "a palace and pavilion built by Shah 'Abbas on the garden avenue of the Chahar Bagh at Isfahan." The panel here shows a woman and three men in the garden. Such scenes were among the most frequent and fashionable subjects chosen by miniature painters of the Safavid period.

  • Provenance

    [ Louis Chardon, New York, until 1903; sold to MMA]

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
444949

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