Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Tile Panel

Object Name:
Tile panel
first quarter 17th century
Attributed to Iran, probably Isfahan
Stonepaste; polychrome glazed within black wax resist outlines (cuerda seca technique)
Panel: H. 45 1/2 in. (115.6 cm)
W. 54 5/8 in. (138.7 cm)
D. 2 9/16 in. (6.5 cm)
Each tile: H. 8 7/8 in. (22.5 cm)
W. 8 7/8 in. (22.5 cm)
Top Mounts: H. 2 3/8 in. (6 cm)
W. 2 in. (5.1 cm)
D. 1/2 in. (1.3 cm)
Bottom mounts: H. 1 in. (2.5 cm)
W. 1 in. (2.5 cm)
D. 1/2 in. (1.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1903
Accession Number:
Not on view
Isfahan, the Safavid capital, and Na'in were the two main centers in which buildings were lavishly decorated with tilework. The old tile-making tradition of composing repetitive geometrical or vegetal patterns was kept alive on mosques and madrasas, but an important innovation on secular buildings was a composition of square tiles individually painted as single elements of an outdoor scene with characters set in a garden landscape. These were placed in royal garden pavilions from the time of Shah 'Abbas to that of Shah Sulayman (the last example being the Hasht Bihisht of 1669). The Museum owns three of these panels, all purchased in 1903 and reported to come from "a palace and pavilion built by Shah 'Abbas on the garden avenue of the Chahar Bagh at Isfahan." The panel here shows a woman and three men in the garden. Such scenes were among the most frequent and fashionable subjects chosen by miniature painters of the Safavid period.
From a palace pavilion built by Shah Abbas (1583–1627) on the garden avenue of the Chahar Bagh at Isfahan

[ Louis Chardon, New York, until 1903; sold to MMA]
Museum für Islamische Kunst, Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. "The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the M.M.A.," June 15, 1981–August 8, 1981, no. 86.

Lisbon. Monastery of Jeronimos. "Os Descobrimentos Portugueses e a Europa do Renascimento," May 7, 1983–October 2, 1983, no. 69.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Nature of Islamic Ornament, Part IV: Figural Representation," September 16, 1999–January 30, 2000, no catalogue.

Musée du Louvre. "La Dynastie Safavide," October 1, 2007–January 7, 2008, no. 120.

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. p. 210, ill. fig. 138 (b/w).

"Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York." In The Arts of Islam. Berlin, 1981. no. 86, pp. 210-211, ill. p. 211 (b/w).

Pinto, Maria Helena Mendes. Os Descobrimentos Portugueses e a Europa do Renascimento. no. 69, pp. 54, 131, ill. p. 54 (color).

Carboni, Stefano, and Tomoko Masuya. Persian Tiles. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993. p. 40, ill.

Munsterberg, Hugo, and Marjorie Munsterberg. World Ceramics from Prehistoric to Modern Times. New York: Penguin Studio Books, 1998. pp. 102, 105, ill. fig. 99.

Melikian-Chirvani, Assadullah. "L'Art de l'Iran Safavide 1501–1736." In Le Chant du Monde. Paris: Musée du Louvre, 2007. no. 120, p. 359, ill. (color).

Landau, Amy S. "Artists, Patrons, and Poets at the Great Islamic Courts." In Pearls on a String. Baltimore: Walters Art Museum, 2015. p. 247.

Lutz, Albert, ed. "Orte der Sehnsucht und Inspiration." In Gärten der Welt. Zürich: Museum Rietberg, 2016. no. 29, pp. 67, 300, ill. p. 69 (color).

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