Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Pair of doors, 9th century; Abbasid
    Iraq
    Carved wood

    87 3/4 x 41 1/4 in. (222.9 x 104.7 cm)
    Fletcher Fund, 1931 (31.119.1,.2)

    The city of Samarra’ in Iraq, about 125 miles upriver from Baghdad, was founded in 836 A.D. by the caliph al-Muctasim (r. 836–42) to accommodate his unruly Turkic soldiers, who had made life impossible in the capital city of Baghdad. Samarra’ was the second and temporary capital of the Abbasid caliphs until near the end of the ninth century.

    These doors illustrate one variety of the so-called beveled style—a symmetrical abstract floral motif—and were probably originally painted and highlighted with gilding. The doors are said to have been found at Takrit, but probably came from Samarra’.

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    On view: Gallery 451
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    Pair of doors, 9th century; Abbasid
    Iraq
    Carved wood

    87 3/4 x 41 1/4 in. (222.9 x 104.7 cm)
    Fletcher Fund, 1931 (31.119.1,.2)


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