Medium-size semispherical bowl with flared
flattened rim on low ring-foot.
A figure with large almond-shaped eyes below
arched eye-brows, richly attired in different kind
of drapes, is seated on cushions in a manner
known as “indian-style”, while raising the right
hand in gesture. As both eyes of the figure are
looking towards the same direction, it would be a
charming hypothesis to consider that the figure
is acknowledging someone outside our vision, to
whom the gesture is also possibly addressed.
A stylised inscription occupies all the remaining
surface of the interior.
Around the rim, a row of semilunar motifs.
The so–called “Monumental Style” in the
decorative arts derives from the Egyptian Fatimid
period and is characterised by large-scale motifs
and the bold way by which centrally placed
figures dominate the whole composition.
Motifs are shown reserved in white against a
background of solid lustre pigment, expressed
through large, substantial arabesques or through
static and angular Kufic inscriptions.
The motif of the cross-legged figure derived to
the Middle East from Central Asia, during the
early Islamic period.
The characteristic moon-shaped face of the
figure is an element which did not evolve from
earlier Egyptian traditions and is well
documented through endless literary references
to be the Seljuk ideal of beauty.
Though modest in size, this bowl confirms that
lustre painters were artists of considerable talent
and that their work matches the craftsmanship in
all the other mediums of artistic expression
during this period.