- Gallery Text
The Hall of 100 Columns, constructed for the Persian king Xerxes (r. 486–465 BCE), has multiple doorways that show a royal hero fighting mythical beasts and the king elevated by his troops and the empire’s subject peoples. Above the king hovers a figure in a winged disk, likely the god Ahuramazda. Xerxes’ predecessor Darius stated: “A great god is Ahuramazda, who created this earth, who created yonder heaven, who created man, who created happiness for man, who made Darius king, one king of many, one lord of many.” In representing their supreme power, the Persian kings emphasized religious legitimization, control over evil forces, and the establishment of an imperial world order. These timeless images are in marked contrast to the particular battle and hunt scenes dominating many Neo-Assyrian palace reliefs. Both Assyrian and Persian reliefs were painted; this fragment preserves traces of color and incised patterns.
- Identification and Creation
- Object Number
- Ahuramazda in the Winged Disk
- Work Type
- 486-460 BCE
- Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Asia, Persepolis (Persia)
- Achaemenid period
- Persistent Link
Level 3, Room 3440, Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Art, Ancient Near Eastern Art in the Service of Kings
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- Physical Descriptions
- 73 cm h x 44.3 cm w x 10 cm d (28 3/4 x 17 7/16 x 3 15/16 in.)
- [E. Sassoon, Paris,(by 1931)], sold; to [Brummer Gallery, Inc, New York, (1931-1932)], sold; to Grenville L. Winthrop, New York, NY, (1932-1943), bequest; to Fogg Art Museum, 1943.
- Acquisition and Rights
- Credit Line
- Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
- Accession Year
- Object Number
- Asian and Mediterranean Art
- THIS WORK MAY NOT BE LENT BY THE TERMS OF ITS ACQUISITION TO THE HARVARD ART MUSEUMS.
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- Publication History
Eric Schroeder, "Relief Sculptures from Persepolis", Bulletin of the Fogg Art Museum (1943), Vol. 10, No. 2, 44-45, p. 44-45, fig. 3.
Arthur Upham Pope and Phyllis Ackerman, A Survey of Persian Art From Prehistoric Times to the Present, Oxford University Press (NY) and Oxford University Press (UK) (London, England and New York, NY, 1967), Vol. I, p. 333; Vol. VII, pl. 96c.
Dorothy W. Gillerman, ed., Grenville L. Winthrop: Retrospective for a Collector, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, 1969), p. 256 (checklist).
Judith Lerner, The Achaemenid Relief of Ahura Mazda in the Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Bulletin of the Asia Institute (Shiraz, 1971), no. 2, pp. 19-35, pp. 19-35
Judith Lerner, "A Painted Relief from Persepolis", Archaeology, Archaeological Institute of America (New York, April 1973), vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 116-22, pp. 116-22, ill.
George M. A. Hanfmann and David Gordon Mitten, "The Art of Classical Antiquity", Apollo (May 1978), vol. 107, no. 195, pp. 362-369, fig. 3.
Kristin A. Mortimer and William G. Klingelhofer, Harvard University Art Museums: A Guide to the Collections, Harvard University Art Museums and Abbeville Press (Cambridge and New York, 1986), p. 97, no. 107, ill.
- Exhibition History
Gods in Color: Painted Sculpture of Classical Antiquity, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/22/2007 - 01/20/2008
32Q: 3440 Near East, Harvard Art Museums, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050
- Subjects and Contexts
Google Art Project
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