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Persian Art
Through The Centuries

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The inhabitants of the Iranian plateau lived on the mountains encircling it, as the central depression, now a desert was filled with water at that time. Once the water receded, man descended into the fertile valleys, and set up settlements.

Tappeh Sialk, near Kashan, was the first site to reveal Neolithic art. During this period, coarse potter's tools resulted in crude pottery and on these large irregularly shaped bowls horizontal and vertical lines were drawn imitating basket work.

Over the years the potter's tools improved, and goblets, red in colour appeared, on which a series of birds, boars and ibexes (wild mountain goats) were drawn in simple black lines.

The high point in the development of prehistoric Iranian painted pottery occurred around the fourth millennium BC. Several examples have survived, such as the painted Beaker from Susa c. 5000-4000 B.C which is today on display in the Louvre, Paris. The patterns on this beaker are highly stylized. The body of the ibex is reduced to two triangles and has become a mere appendage of the huge horns, the racing hounds above the ibex are little more than horizontal streaks while the waders circulating the mouth of the vase resemble musical notes.

Painted Beaker, from Susa.

Painted Beaker, from Susa.
c. 5000 - 4000 BC.
Height 11.25". The Louvre, Paris


Persian Art Through The Centuries

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Persian Art
Through The Centuries

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Copyright© 1999 K. Kianush, Art Arena