12th century AD
stucco, moulded and carved; with traces of paint
20 x 20cm
In 12th-century Iran, following the decline of the Great Seljuks, paintings in audience halls were replaced by high-relief stucco sculpture, often enhanced with polychrome decoration in red, blue and gold. This head, which conforms to the contemporary Turkic ideal of beauty, wears an Iranian diadem and may be from a more elaborately composed enthronement scene, with the ruler at the centre, flanked by attendants bearing the emblems of their office in the royal household.
J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.156, p.131.