Bowl, early 13th century (Seljuq Period, 1037–1196)
Stonepaste; painted in black under transparent turquoise glaze
Overall: 3 3/4 in; 9.5 cm
Gift of the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation
Under Seljuq rule, Iran saw a flowering of the arts – from the proliferation of illustrated manuscripts and monumental architecture to the production of luxury ceramics. The simple black and turquoise color scheme of this beautiful bowl is subtly enhanced by the use of different designs on the interior and exterior. The interior is filled with radiating lotus palmettes (a motif adapted from Chinese art), while the outside features a looser composition of scrolling vines that sprout split-leaves, known as rumi leaves.
-Kendra Weisbin, Associate Curator of Education, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum (Sept. 2016)