Bowl with Simurghs
Samarkand, 10th Century
The red interlace strapwork in this ceramic bowl creates a complex geometric pattern within the center, almost serving as the focal point for this piece. A pink-tan base color comes through in the negative spaces of the bowl, however, there is little space left unoccupied, as the composition is very crowded. Black bands with Kufic script form concentric circles around the center, with abstract red and white dotted shapes in between. This bowl displays symmetry, movement and directionality. The three Simurghs around the bowl are made up of abstract lines and shapes. Orange shapes make up the beaks and feet of the birds and orange dots help to unify the piece. Gold wings and pointed tail feathers point outward and further help contribute to the directionality of the ceramic bowl. The Simurghs dominate the directionality and movement around the bowl, which is consistent with the Muslim belief of the creatures as resembling ultimate spiritual entities.