Dado Panel

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 452

This small panel was excavated at Nishapur from a mound known as Sabz Pushan (the Green Covered). Excavations at Sabz Pushan revealed part of a residential neighborhood with several houses and an alleyway. This piece was found in an iwan, or covered room opening onto a courtyard, richly decorated with carved panels and wall paintings. This iwan may have been part of a private house, but the presence of a mihrab (prayer niche) suggests that it could have also served as a small neighborhood mosque. Other panels found in the same iwan include MMA 37.40.43, 37.40.45, 37.40.46 and 37.40.47.
The piece specifically formed the base of a column framing the mihrab. While its design is unique and made to fit the dimensions of this particular panel, the leaf motif in the center appears throughout the iwan in a variety of combinations, creating a sense of cohesion. Such attention to detail, even at the level of tiny panels like this one, is typical of the architectural decoration at Nishapur.

Dado Panel, Stucco; carved

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