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Ewer with Arabic proverb, "Devotion fortifies action"

Object Name:
Ewer
Date:
10th century
Geography:
Iran or present-day Uzbekistan, Nishapur or Samarqand
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Earthenware; white slip with black slip decoration under a transparent glaze
Dimensions:
H. 5 3/8 in. (13.7 cm) Diam. at rim 3 3/4 in. (9.5 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics
Credit Line:
Gift of Ernest Erickson Foundation, 1988
Accession Number:
1988.114.3
  • Description

    Slip-painting, the technique employed to decorate this ewer, was developed in Khurasan and Central Asia in the 10th century. It consists of diluting the pigment of the desired color in a slip (liquid clay), and of painting designs with the mixture: the adherence of the slip-painted designs to the surface of the vessel makes for a neat design, that does not run under the glaze. In this case, fine incisions of the black slip give definition to the design.
    The black slip-painting outlines a continuous motif of palmettes connected by a band with loops and an inscription in Kufic script. The text, typical of slip-painted vessels of this type, is an Arabic proverb and reads "devotion fortifies action".

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Inscription in Arabic written in foliated and plaited Kufic inscription a proverb, reading: "devotion fortifies action (al-ikhlas yuhassin al a'mal)

  • Provenance

    Ernest Erickson, New York (by 1956–d. 1983); Ernest Erickson Foundation, Inc., New York (1983–88)

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
453306

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