• Dish: Bahram Gur and Azade

    Technique:
    forged, pierced ground, chased, engraved and gilded
    Dimensions:
    diam. 21,7 cm

Dish: Bahram Gur and Azade

Iran, 7th century

The greater part of the surface of this dish is occupied by a man riding a camel. He is drawing a bow and shooting arrows at gazelles that are fleeing from him. Seated behind the hunter on the camel is a woman with her hand raised in a gesture of adoration. Evidently, this is a depiction of King Bahram Gur and his Roman slave girl Azadeh. The actual 5th-century ruler Bahram V became a hero in Persian literature and art. Stories about him were popular not only during the Sassanid era, but also in much later times. Despite the expressiveness of the depiction, the craftsman’s work here seems in many ways inept. The camel is too small compared to its rider and its neck is too slender; Bahram Gur’s facial features are angular and schematic. The little figure of Azadeh is disproportionately small compared to that of the king, but that was probably a device to emphasize her inferior status. In keeping with the canons of Sassanid art, although we are looking at the king from the side, his shoulders are depicted full-on as well as his eye. As is usual in Sassanid toreutics, the craftsman painstakingly depicted details of the clothing, footwear and adornments. In contrast to the static, clumsy-looking camel, the gazelles are depicted almost as if airborne in their hasty flight.

Title:

Dish: Bahram Gur and Azade

Place of creation:

Date:

Epoch. Period:

Material:

Technique:

forged, pierced ground, chased, engraved and gilded

Dimensions:

diam. 21,7 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1930; transferred from the Ural Museum in Sverdlovsk

Inventory Number:

S-252

Category:

Collection:

Subcollection: