Bowl with Peacock Motif
Arts of the Islamic World
On View: Lobby annex, 1st floor
This bowl represents the fine ceramic production of the Syrian center of Raqqa, which flourished during the Ayyubid dynasty (1171–1260). The bowl has a flat rim with abstract decoration that is vaguely vegetal in inspiration, while the interior contains a large, stylized representation of a peacock amid scrolling, leafy vines. Although dark copper-colored luster decoration and blue highlights are typical of Raqqa ceramics, this bowl is remarkable for the ingenuity of its color combinations and the intensity of its palette, especially the pleasing pale turquoise tint of its transparent, colorless overglaze.
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, European and American interest in the Middle East was aroused in large part by translations of Arabic literary texts such as the Thousand and One Nights. The lavish descriptions of the court of the famed cAbbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid (reigned 786–809) led to a Romanticized view of Islamic culture, and ceramics unearthed at Raqqa soon became erroneously associated with Harun, who had built a palace in that city. The false link between Harun and Raqqa drove an inflated market demand for "Raqqa-ware" that lasted until the 1930s. It is now known that the majority of the ceramics from Raqqa were produced in the late twelfth or early thirteenth century, when the city underwent a cultural renaissance after a decline beginning in the tenth century.
Ceramic; fritware, painted in luster on a transparent glaze with touches of cobalt blue
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Carl L. Selden
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Bowl with Peacock Motif, ca. 1200–1230. Ceramic; fritware, painted in luster on a transparent glaze with touches of cobalt blue, 4 1/8 x 14 3/16 in. (10.5 x 36 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Carl L. Selden, 78.81. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 78.81_SL1.jpg)
overall, 78.81_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.