Fragment of a Frieze

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 453

This terracotta panel is from Tepe Madrasa in Nishapur in Iran and once formed a segment of the portal in the prayer hall. Carved terracotta was used as a decorative material for architectural sites in Iran at least since the tenth century; it was used to construct columns, bosses, string courses, and bricks. Elements like this would have composed larger panels, often bearing geometrical patterns. The panel features a star-and-polygon pattern, which is cut off due to the limitations of space of this element. Each octagon encloses an eight-petaled rosette. The stars were once painted blue and the background of the rosettes were red.

Fragment of a Frieze, Terracotta; carved, painted

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