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Standing Figure with Jeweled Headdress

Object Name:
Figure
Date:
12th–early 13th century
Geography:
Iran
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Gypsum plaster; modeled, carved, polychrome-painted, gilded
Dimensions:
H. 56 1/2 in. (143.5 cm) W. 20 1/4 in. (51.5 cm) Gr. D. 10 in. (25.4 cm) Wt. including crate: 437 lbs. (198.2 kg) from the bottom of the coat to the top of the crown 45.3 inches (115 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Lester Wolfe, 1967
Accession Number:
67.119
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 453
The ornamented headdres, arms, and rich vestments of this figure suggest that it most likely represents a sovereign’s personal guard, viziers or amir. Probably meant to decorate the reception hall of a ruler’s court, be it the Seljuq sultan or one of his local vassals or successors, figures like this one would parallel and enhance actual ceremonies in the very setting in which they took place. Recent analyses have proven that a traditionally-made gypsum plaster is consistently employed on these figures and on archaeological stuccoes. This figure also displays integrated restoration of the first half of the twentieth century, including additions in a more refined gypsum, and modern pigments (some of the reds and synthetic ultramarine blue).
Inscription: Inscription in Arabic in kufic script on tiraz band with cartouches, on right and left sleeves:
الملك
Dominion [belongs to God]
Hagop Kevorkian, New York (by 1931–d. 1962); Kevorkian Foundation, New York (1962–66; its sale, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, November 4–5, 1966, no. 196, to Wolfe); Mr. and Mrs. Lester Wolfe, New York (1966–67; gifted to MMA)
Riefstahl, Rudolf M. "Persian Islamic Stucco Sculptures." The Art Bulletin vol. 13 (1931). pp. 438-463, ill. fig. 3, detailed card on p. 462.

Swietochowski, Marie, and Marilyn Jenkins-Madina. Notable Acquisitions 1965-1975 (1965-1975). p. 140, ill. (b/w).

"Kevorkian Foundation sale, November 4-5, 1966." In Indian, Siamese and Chinese Sculpture and Paintings. New York: Parke-Bernet, 1966. no. 196, ill. (b/w).

Canby, Sheila R., Deniz Beyazit, Martina Rugiadi, and A. C. S. Peacock. "The Great Age of the Seljuqs." In Court and Cosmos. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2016. no. 1a, pp. 40-47, ill. p. 40 (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. p. 38, ill. fig. 52 (color).

Roxburgh, David J., ed. Turks: Journey of a Thousand Years, 600–1600. London, New York: Royal Academy of Arts, 2005. no. 39, pp. 86-87, ill. fig. 39 (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. 63, pp. 88, 102-104, ill. p. 103 (color).



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