Fragment of a wall painting showing a seated princess (forgery)

The fragment was broken during transit and is presently in two pieces. The surface is badly damaged.

The fragment shows a princess seated on the ground with one knee bent up. On the left is a richly foliated tree with rounded green leaves and birds perched on its branches. A butterfly is placed on the upper right and the field around the figure is filled with clusters of grass and flowers growing from oval rocks.

The princess has a crown with a blue cap and a blue scarf falls from the headdress to her shoulders. The diadem of the crown is crenulated and terminates with a long curving stem at the back; it is painted in red and green with touches of gilding. A pearl band appears on the forehead and hangs on the temples; it was probably meant to continue under the chin.

The figure wears a green coat decorated iwth a blue embroidered collar. The coat is lined with blue and large gold and red flowers are painted on the bodice and skirt.

The undergarment or dress is damaged, but shows remnants of a pinkish-orange pigment, not unlike the face coloring and the handkerchief held in the left hand. The dress and handkerchief may have been unfinished with only the ground color applied

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Historical period(s)
early 20th century
Medium
Polychrome colors on plaster
Dimensions
H x W (max.): 42 x 19 cm (16 9/16 x 7 1/2 in)
Geography
Iran
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Myron Bement Smith
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1973.17
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Wall painting (fragment)

Keywords
butterfly, flower, forgery, Iran, Myron Bement Smith collection, princess, tree, WWII-era provenance
Provenance

From 1930s to 1970
Dr. Myron Bement Smith (1897-1970), New York acquired in Iran. [1]

1970 – 71
Mrs. Myron Bement Smith, Washington DC [2]

From 1971
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Mrs. Myron Bement Smith, Washington DC [3]

Notes:

[1] Curatorial Remark 2 in the object record.

[2] See Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List after 1920 file, Collections Management Office.

[3] See note 2. The object was transferred from the Freer Study Collection to the Permanent Collection in December 3, 1973.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Mrs. Myron Bement Smith
Dr. Myron Bement Smith 1897-1970

Description

The fragment was broken during transit and is presently in two pieces. The surface is badly damaged.

The fragment shows a princess seated on the ground with one knee bent up. On the left is a richly foliated tree with rounded green leaves and birds perched on its branches. A butterfly is placed on the upper right and the field around the figure is filled with clusters of grass and flowers growing from oval rocks.

The princess has a crown with a blue cap and a blue scarf falls from the headdress to her shoulders. The diadem of the crown is crenulated and terminates with a long curving stem at the back; it is painted in red and green with touches of gilding. A pearl band appears on the forehead and hangs on the temples; it was probably meant to continue under the chin.

The figure wears a green coat decorated iwth a blue embroidered collar. The coat is lined with blue and large gold and red flowers are painted on the bodice and skirt.

The undergarment or dress is damaged, but shows remnants of a pinkish-orange pigment, not unlike the face coloring and the handkerchief held in the left hand. The dress and handkerchief may have been unfinished with only the ground color applied

Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
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