Islamic Terracotta Vessel - PF.5124, Origin: Jericho, Circa: 700 AD to 900 AD, Dimensions: 8.5" (21.6cm) high x 6" (15.2cm) wide, Collection: Islamic Art, Style: Islamic, Medium: Terracotta. Through art, it is possible to observe ancient religion, magic and ritual, “solidified” in media such as clay, iron or stone. This superb pitcher or jug is composed of two main sections--the body portion and the spout/handle. Four registers encircle the body, beginning with a series of joined oblong “lozenges” at the base (above a lovely flower on the bottom) continuing into a floral effect that is slightly wider and freer than the more detailed panel above. A series of glyph-like configurations dominate the upper area, before allowing a more open space at the neck. The tightly woven designs of the body, like a complex script, are beautifully contrasted to the elegant bull's head attached to the spout. Its stylized nature in fact adds to its power; with intense, circular eyes, dramatically curved horns and an ornate pattern covering the face and neck. Though the exact meaning of esoteric symbols may be lost, their energy remains to delight us with beauty and intrigue us with mystery.
Ancient Near East