Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities (Medelhavsmuseet)
Hegira first half of 11th century / AD first half of the 17th century
Ceramic; underglaze painted.
Height 5.5 cm, diameter 25.5 cm
The polychrome underglaze painted dish with a sloping rim and a deep well shows a male human figure outlined in black on a white background. The man is dressed in uncoloured wide trousers, a pale blue jacket and a white blouse with green sleeves. His hat and shoes and the flower that he holds in his right hand are of thick pale red. Five flowers on thin curved stems – two red-dotted blue tulips and three smaller ones with red blossoms – fill the area around the man. The rim shows a zigzag pattern composed of almond-shaped leafs. The triangular areas are coloured alternately in light blue and a bright green and filled with half-rosettes, each with a red dot at the centre. On the back the dish is painted with three large blue dots under a transparent, light turquoise coloured glaze. The foot-ring is pierced once for suspension.
Figurative depictions on Iznik ceramics were inspired by the popular imagery of miniature costume albums, many of which were produced for sale to Europeans from the beginning of the AH 11th / AD 17th century. The standardised painting of the man and the formulaic character of the flower decoration are due to the mass production of the open market.
Polychrome painted dish with a deep well showing a human figure on a white background. The area around the man is filled with flowers. The rim shows a zigzag pattern. Figurative depictions on Iznik ceramics were inspired by the popular imagery of miniature costume albums.
The object was dated from its decoration. Figurative depictions, frequently in combination with a zigzag pattern on the rim, occurred in great number on Iznik ceramics from the beginning of the 11th / 17th century. They were inspired by single-figure costume studies such as the Album of Sultan Ahmed I (r. 1011–25 / 1603–17) and its popular copies.
Bequest of the Hungarian scientist, Nobel Prize winner and art collector, Georg von Békésy (1899–1972).
The zigzag pattern on the rim in combination with the human figure occurred in great number on Iznik ceramics from the beginning of the 11th / 17th century.
Atasoy, N. and Raby, J., Iznik: The Pottery of Ottoman Turkey, London, 1989.
Carswell, J., Iznik Pottery, London, 1998.
Müller-Wiener, M., Türkisch-Osmanische Keramik, Traunstein, 2004.
Wirgin, J. (ed.), The Georg von Békésy Collection, Malmö, 1974.
Friederike Voigt "Dish" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020. http://islamicart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;se;Mus01;19;en
Prepared by: Friederike VoigtFriederike Voigt
Friederike Voigt has an MA in Iranian studies, history of art and social science and is currently working on her doctoral thesis on wall tiles in architectural decoration of Qajar Iran. Since 2004 she has been a project-related curator at the Museum for Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities in Stockholm for Museum With No Frontiers. She studied at Humboldt University in Berlin, at the University of Tehran and archaeology at the University of Halle-Wittenberg. She taught Persian language at several universities in Germany. She was an assistant curator at the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Cultures at the Museum of Ethnology, State Museums of Berlin. Her main fields of interest are the material culture of Iran, especially of the Qajar period, and contemporary Iranian art.
Copyedited by: Monica Allen
MWNF Working Number: SE 20
Islamic Dynasties / Period
On display in
Discover Islamic Art Exhibition(s)Figurative Art | Human Representation
Virtual Visit Exhibition Trail
DownloadAs PDF (including images) As Word (text only)