Artwork of the Week: November 21

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Iran (probably Kashan), Bowl. Mina’i ware: earthenware with overglaze painted in polychrome colors on opaque white (tin glaze), late 12th–early 13th century. Diam. 8 3/16in. Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1941.17. Gallery 23A

Iran (probably Kashan), Bowl. Mina’i ware: earthenware with overglaze painted in polychrome colors on opaque white (tin glaze), late 12th–early 13th century. Diam. 8 3/16in. Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1941.17. Gallery 23A

Mina’i pottery, which adapts Chinese techniques, shapes, and imagery, has been identified with Kashan, a city about 125 miles south of modern Tehran, Iran. Kashan remained an important ceramic center through the 17th century. Bowls from Kashan typically depict limited subject matter, such as hunters, musicians, and princes with attendants and animals in gardens—images of courtly life that appealed to middle-class purchasers. The garden scene that covers the interior of this bowl is similar in composition and draftsmanship to courtly Persian miniature illustrations, which also had their beginnings at this time.


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