Dish with a Portrait of a Man

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 462

This dish belongs to a group of ceramics known as Kubachi ware. Named for a village in the Caucasus where this pottery was discovered in quantity, Kubachi wares are now thought to have actually been produced in Tabriz. One attribute of the Kubachi style is an uneven application of the glaze that has resulted in a surface-wide crackle. Dirt has seeped into the cracklure, discoloring the underlying body to a brownish tint.
A turbaned male youth is the central decorative motif, and is depicted in a manner consistent with contemporary Persian painting, illustrating the relationship between the arts of the book and that of ceramics. The craftsman has taken care to indicate shading in the bands of the figure’s turban, an indication that he was familiar with figural painting of the period.

Dish with a Portrait of a Man, Stonepaste; painted in blue under transparent glaze (Kubachi ware)

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