Name of Object:
Date of Object:
Hegira, second half of the 4th–first half of the 5th centuries / AD 10th–11th centuries
Material(s) / Technique(s):
Length 30 cm, width 29 cm, thickness 3 cm
Period / Dynasty:
Sabra al-Mansuriyya (Kairouan).
This is an engraving of a stylised horse of majestic demeanour. A rider holds the reins with his left hand and seems to be about to mount. The carefully drawn animal is seen depicted in profile. Its mane is indicated with a few short lines projecting from the neck. The left back leg is slightly raised and the left forearm and cannon-bone are elevated to form an inverted V-shape. The fetlock and hoof have been completely effaced.
View Short Description
This is a hand-carved engraving of a majestic Arab horse, whose rider is barely visible, and is a drawing unique in Ifriqiyan art. The carefully drawn animal is seen in profile, with its mane rendered using oblique and radiating strokes.
How date and origin were established:
This piece comes from the excavations at Sabra al-Mansuriyya, a place which survived for around a century (from 337 to 444 / 948 to 1053). This allows us to date it from the second half of the 4th / 10th century to the first half of the 5th / 11th century. No more precise dating is possible owing to the lack of published information from the excavations but the object's similarity to the Umayyad goblet (mid-4th / 10th century) suggests that we can limit the period to the end of the 4th / 10th century.
How Object was obtained:
After the discovery of this piece in the Sabra al-Mansuriyya excavations between 1952 and 1956, it was stored and later displayed at the Bardo Museum.
How provenance was established:
De Carthage à Kairouan (exhibition catalogue), Paris, 1982, p.221.
Citation of this web page:
Mourad Rammah "Plaster graffito" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020. http://islamicart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;tn;Mus01_A;37;en