color Garden Gathering
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ABOUT THE ARTWORK
Title: Garden Gathering
Culture: Attributed to Iran, probably Isfahan
Medium: Stonepaste tile, painted and polychrome glazed
The figures offer one another refreshments in the scene which most likely depicts the 17th century garden district of Isfahan, the capital city of Iran during the Safavid period. In the center, a female in lavish Iranian dress smiles and gestures toward a man in European dress who kneels before her. Her arms display burn marks, which is associated with voluntary acts of self-harm to express love. By the mid 17th century, Europeans had been coming to Isfahan in great numbers.
The tiles of Garden Gathering stand at roughly six feet long and three feet tall. Based on the landscapes and lifestyles depicted, the panels likely adorned the walls of the garden pavilions and palaces of Isfahan. The cuerda seca technique, which began appearing in the 2nd half of the 14th century, was used to apply colored glazes to ceramic surfaces. This laborious process consisted of separating the water soluble glazes between thin lines of grease and pigment to prevent colors from running together.
Source: The Met