Fragment of Wall Painting with a Scene of Two Horsemen Slaying a Serpent
Wall painting fragment
early 20th century
Gypsum plaster; painted
H. 19 1/2 in. (49.5 cm)
W. 23 1/4 in. (59.1 cm)
Wt. 41 lbs. (18.6 kg)
Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1952
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 458
Medieval texts report that wall paintings often decorated building interiors, and some examples have been excavated. However, extant wall paintings from the Seljuq period are rare. This fragment, probably from the spandrel of an arch, contains a row of standing and kneeling figures in the upper register and a scene of two horsemen slaying a serpent in the lower register. Even more than mina'i ware pottery, it gives an impression of the little‑known pre‑Mongol painting style.
Dikran G. Kelekian, New York (by 1938–d. 1951; his estate,New York, 1951–52; sold to MMA)
Harari, Ralph, and Richard Ettinghausen. A Survey of Persian Art from Prehistoric Times to the Present, edited by Arthur Upham Pope. Vol. I-VI. London and New York: Oxford University Press, 1938. v. V, pl. 554A.
Ferrier, Ronald W., ed. The Arts of Persia. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989. p. 201, ill. pl. 4 (b/w).
Sims, Eleanor, B. Marshak, and Ernst J. Grube. "Persian Painting and its Sources." In Peerless Images. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002. no. 38, p. 121, ill. (color).