Beaker

citation

Beaker of slightly spreading cylindrical form on a low foot rim; broken and repaired.
Clay: soft, white.
Glaze: white, stanniferous.
Decoration painted in red, blue, grayish-yellow and pale green enamels over glaze: Bizhan and Manizha from the Shahnamah.

Historical period(s)
Saljuq period, late 12th century
Medium
Stone-paste painted under glaze and over glaze with enamel (mina'i)
Style
Mina'i ware
Dimensions
H x W x D: 12 x 11.2 x 11.2 cm (4 3/4 x 4 7/16 x 4 7/16 in)
Geography
Iran, Kashan
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
F1928.2
On View Location
Freer Gallery 04: Engaging the Senses: Art in the Islamic World
Classification(s)
Ceramic, Vessel
Type

Beaker

Keywords
Afrasiyab, Bijan, Gurgin, Iran, Manija, Mina'i ware, Rustam, Saljuq period (1037 - 1300), Shahnama
Provenance

1928
Parish-Watson Company, New York 1928 [1]

From 1928
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Parish-Watson Company, New York in 1928 [2]

Notes:

[1] Object file, undated folder sheet note. Also see Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List file, Collections Management Office.

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s)

Parish-Watson Company

Description

Beaker of slightly spreading cylindrical form on a low foot rim; broken and repaired.
Clay: soft, white.
Glaze: white, stanniferous.
Decoration painted in red, blue, grayish-yellow and pale green enamels over glaze: Bizhan and Manizha from the Shahnamah.

Label

This celebrated beaker is the only known object from the Islamic world that is illustrated with a complete narrative cycle from the Shahnama, the Persian Book of Kings. Organized in horizontal bands, the small but highly detailed images recount the adventures of Bizhan and Manizha, beginning with Firdawsi's beloved telling the story. The climax in the narrative appears in the lower register and depicts Rustam rescuing Bizhan from the pit where he has been imprisoned by the Turanian king Afrasiyab, Manizha's evil father. This pictorial cycle predates any other depictions of the Bizhan and Manizha romance by some one hundred years.
It is interesting to note that the adventures of the two lovers appear on a drinking cup, a vessel of particular ritual significance in royal banquets during the ancient and Islamic periods.

Published References
  • Louise Allison Cort, Dr. Massumeh Farhad, Ann C. Gunter. Asian Traditions in Clay: The Hauge Gifts. Washington, 2000. p. 84, fig. 4.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Ceramics from the World of Islam. Exh. cat. Washington, 1973. cat. 44, pp. 100-101.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Exhibition of 2500 Years of Persian Art. Exh. cat. Washington, 1971. cat. 70, pp. 19, 21.
  • Annette Hagedorn. Islamic Art. Germany. p. 11.
  • Ideals of Beauty: Asian and American Art in the Freer and Sackler Galleries. Thames and Hudson World of Art London and Washington, 2010. pp. 132-133.
  • Marianna Shreve Simpson Olga Davidson. Ferdowsi's Shahnama. p. 80.
  • Florence E. Day. A Review of "The Ceramic Art in Islamic Times. B. Dated Faience". vol. 8, pt.1-2 Ann Arbor, 1941. p. 39.
  • Freer Gallery of Art. Gallery Book III: Exhibition of September 5, 1933. Washington, September 5, 1933. .
  • Ernst Kuhnel. Islamische Kleinkunst: ein Handbuch fur Sammler and Liebhaber. Bibliothek fur Kunst, 2nd ed. Braunschweig, Germany. p. 111, fig. 68.
  • Arthur Lane. Early Islamic Pottery: Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Persia. Faber Monographs on Pottery and Porcelain London. pl. 70b.
  • F. R. Martin. The Miniature Painting and Painters of Persia, India, and Turkey from the 8th to the 18th Century. 2 vols., London. fig. 3.
  • Jose Pijoan. Arte Islamico. vol. 12, Summa artis, historia general del arte, 1st ed. Madrid. p. 322, fig. 449.
  • Richard Ettinghausen Ernst Kuhnel. A Survey of Persian Art from Prehistoric Times to the Present. 6 vols., London and New York, 1938 - 1939. vol. 11, p. 1561, 1563, vol. V, pl. 660b.
  • Henri Riviere Gaston Migeon. La Ceramique dans l'art Musulman. 2 vols., Paris. l. 45.
  • Benjamin Rowland, Laurence Sickman, H. G. Henderson, Robert Treat Paine, Richard Ettinghausen, Eric Schroeder. The University Prints. Oriental Art Series O 4 vols. Newton, Massachusetts, 1938-1941. Section 4: Iranian and Islamic art, pl. 496.
  • Antonio Garcia Jaen. Arte y Artistas Musulmanes. Madrid. pl. 154.
  • Ralph Pinder Wilson. Islamic Art: One Hundred Plates in Colour with an Introductory Essay on Islamic Art. London. pl. 27.
  • Richard Ettinghausen Grace Dunham Guest. The Iconography of a Kashan Luster Plate. vol. 4 Washington and Ann Arbor. fig. 9, pl. 4.
  • Sekai bijutsu zenshu (A Complete Collection of World Art). 40 vols., Tokyo, 1960-1966. pl. 22.
  • Edwards Park. Treasures from the Smithsonian Institution., 1st ed. Washington and New York. p. 346.
  • Richard Ettinghausen. Islamic Art and Archaeology: Collected Papers. Berlin. p. 614, fig. 9.
  • Oriental Ceramics (Toyo Toji Taikan): The World's Great Collections. 12 vols., Tokyo. pl. 287.
  • Marianna Shreve Simpson. L'Art Islamique: Asiae, Iran, Afgahanistan, Asia Centrale et Inde. La Grammaire des Styles Paris, 1956-1958. pp. 30-31.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Exhibition of Islamic Pottery at the Freer Gallery of Art. London, March 1974. pp. 223, 224, fig. 8A.
  • Linda Komaroff. Paintings in Silver and Gold: The Decoration of Persian Metalwork and Its Relationship to Manuscript Illustration. no. 2, Fall 1994. p. 8, fig. 6.
  • , Eva Baer, David Nicolle, Barbara Schmitz, Oliver Watson. The Art of the Saljuqs in Iran and Anatolia. Costa Mesa, CA. pp. 135, 156, fig. 4.
  • Sheila Blair Jonathan M. Bloom. Islamic Arts. Art and Ideas London. pp. 269-270, figs. 143-144.
  • Matthias Ostermann. The Ceramic Narrative. London and Philadelphia, PA. fig. 14.
  • Eleanor Sims, Boris I. Marshak, Ernst Grube. Peerless Images: Persian Painting and its Sources. New Haven and London. p. 223.
  • Grace Dunham Guest. Notes on the Miniatures on a Thirteenth-Century Beaker. vol. 10. pp. 148-152.
  • Arthur Sambon. Catalogue des objets d'art et de haute curiosité, de l'antiquité, du moyen age, de la renaissance, et autres...formant la collection de M. Arthur Sambon dont la vente aura lieu a Paris galerie Georges Petit... les lundi 25...jeudi 28 mai 1914. Paris. no. 152.
  • Assadullah Souren Melikian-Chirvani. Trois manuscrits de d'Iran Seldjoukide. vol. 16. pp. 3-51, fig. 13.
  • Marianna Shreve Simpson. The narrative structure of a medieval Iranian beaker. vol. 12. pp. [15]-24.
  • Marianna Shreve Simpson. The Illustration of an Epic: The Earliest Shahnama Manuscripts. Outstanding Dissertations in the Fine Arts New York and London. pp. 233-247, 270.
  • p. 85, fig. 24.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum