H. 40 3/8 in. (102.6 cm)
W. 53 1/2 in. (135.9 cm)
D. 2 in. (5.1 cm)
Wt. 195 lbs. (88.5 kg)
Rogers Fund, 1940
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 453
This dado panel was excavated from a room in the Tepe Madrasa area of Nishapur that once had a lively scheme of painted decoration. The upper section of the wall was colored a deep red, followed by a short horizontal frieze of hexagons and diamonds underneath, and then this four-foot high dado with a frieze of alternating square and rectangular panels. Each panel in the dado was framed with blue, red, and white lines; the rectangular panels were filled with a pattern akin to quartersawn marble, and the square panels had a variety of feathery shapes, scale-covered elements, and interlaced ribbons ending in stylized eyes and hands. This symbolism has no known parallels outside Nishapur, although amulets in the shape of eyes and hands were used to ward off the evil eye. It seems unlikely, however, that this basic interpretation encompasses the whole meaning of the present work.
1939, excavated at Tepe Madrasa in Nishapur, Iran by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's expedition; 1940, acquired by the Museum in the division of finds
McAllister, Hannah, Maurice S. Dimand, Charles K. Wilkinson, and Walter Hauser. "Excavations of the Iranian Expedition in the Kanat Teppeh, Nishapur." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, old series, vol. 37 (1942). pp. 99-100, 104, ill. fig 28 (b/w).
Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. p. 22, ill. fig. 11 (b/w).
Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. Publications, 36.. Lahore: The Panjabi Adabi Academy, 1964. p. 22, ill. fig. 11 (b/w).
Wilkinson, Charles K. Nishapur: Some Early Islamic Buildings and their Decoration. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1986. pp. 20, 168, ill. fig. 6 (color), fig. 1.201 (b/w).
Ettinghausen, Richard, and Oleg Grabar. The Art and Architecture of Islam: 650-1250. Middlesex, England: Penguin Books, 1987. p. 249, ill. fig. 264 (b/w).
Ettinghausen, Richard, Oleg Grabar, and Marilyn Jenkins-Madina. Islamic Art and Architecture 650-1250. 2nd ed. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2001. p. 114, ill. fig. 178 (color).
Sims, Eleanor, B. Marshak, and Ernst J. Grube. "Persian Painting and its Sources." In Peerless Images. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002. pp. 28-29, ill. fig. 37 (color).
Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 60, pp. 7, 100-101, ill. p. 100 (color).