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Looking out at the viewer, the figure of an armed rider on a richly caparisoned horse takes up the whole interior of the dish. It is surrounded by birds, crosses, script and other ornaments. The turning of the torso toward the front accentuates the rigidity of the rider's posture, and the non-naturalistic proportion gives the image a symbolic character, further emphasized by the linear rendering of the heads of both horse and rider and by the ornamental patterning of the rider's clothing and the horse's body, The significance of the other details, such as the peacock and the cross motifs, has not yet been satisfactorily established. Excavations in Nishapur, one of the capitals of the Samanid Empire (874-1005), in what is today north-eastern Iran and Uzbekistan, have shown that it was there that this kind of pottery, with its buff ground and most commonly a profusion of small motifs, was produced during the ninth and tenth centuries. Thanks to Persian influence on the ruling house, Early Iranian, Sasanian and Sogdian traditions were taken up again, and these were certainly one of the sources for the countless varied representations of riders, a reflection of a courtly and chivalrous culture, which enjoyed great popularity in the Islamic world.

Details

  • Title: Dish with Rider
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 9th or 10th century
  • Location: Nishapur, Iran
  • Physical Dimensions: w60 x h22 cm
  • Type: Ceramic
  • Medium: Earthenware, underglaze painted
  • Inv. no.: I. 11/62
  • ISIL no.: DE-MUS-814517
  • External link: Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Copyrights: Foto © bpk - Foto Agency / Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Hans Kräftner || Text © Scala Publishers / Museum für Islamische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Gisela Helmecke
  • Collection: Museum für Islamische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

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