Zand, 18th century CE
Materials and technique
Fritware, underglaze lustre painted in brown and blue
Height 9 cm; Ø 22.2 cm
The lustre painted technique and the subject matter depicted on this small bowl are more reminiscent of mediaeval Seljuq and Il-khanid wares, which commonly illustrated scenes from Persian literature, especially the Shahnama of Firdawsi, the national oral epic about the ancient kings and legendary heroes of Iran. A princely or heroic figure pursues an awkward-looking dragon around a central, eight-petalled rosette; two sets of triangular mountain peaks appear between the figures, setting the scene for the hunt. The circular shape of the bowl and the running stance of the hunter add a dynamic tension to the episode. Stylistically, however, the figure of the hunter appears more related to the early Zand period (r. 1750-79 CE) during which artists closely followed the aesthetic models of their Safavid predecessors. The exterior of the bowl contains six panels displaying various landscapes and a large bird that appears in alternating frames.
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