Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Plaque in the form of a reclining man

ca. 1st century B.C.–A.D. 1st century
Iran or Mesopotamia
4 x 5.25 in. (10.16 x 13.34 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of E. S. David, 1955
Accession Number:
Not on view
This terracotta plaque features a figure reclining on a couch covered with a herringbone and stripe pattern. Identifiable as male due to his clothing, trousers and a belted, knee-length tunic, he is beardless, wears disk-shaped earrings and holds a cup in his left hand. His torso is angled so that the whole figure is seen from the front. Only a few other terracotta examples of figures in Parthian clothing exist, such as riders on horseback, soldiers, and musicians. Greek terracottas often feature reclining figures, usually males. The use of the pose among ancient Near Eastern plaques and figurines may indicate ties to Greek terracotta manufacturing centers along the eastern Mediterranean coast, although they typically depict females.
Acquired by the Museum in 1955, gift of Elias S. David, Long Island City, NY.

“The Year One: Art of the Ancient World East and West.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, October 3, 2000–January 14, 2001.

Milleker, Elizabeth J. ed. 2000. The Year One: Art of the Ancient World East and West. exh. cat. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 89.
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