2016-298 – Courtly Bowl Mandala

Islamic Bowl - source: Metropolitan Museum of Art - NY
Islamic Bowl – source: New York Metropolitan Museum of Art
ceramic – 7-3/8″ diameter

This week’s MotD theme: Bowl Me Over

On view in the “Art Of The Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, And Later South Asia” room (Gallery 453) of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, can be found this image-intense 12-13th century ceramic bowl from Iran containing courtly and astrological motifs. For such a small bowl, it amazes me how much symbolism, artistry and attention to detail this piece contains, including all the mandala-like designs.

About this particular room, MetMuseum.org states:

This room focuses on the far-reaching impact of the Abassid style in the eastern Islamic world. Included are the artistic achievements of the eleventh-century Ghaznavid and twelfth-century Seljuq Sultans, whose patronage ushered in a brilliant and inventive period of art and culture in Iran and Central Asia. Among the highlights are luster-painted and other ceramic vessels from twelfth-century Kashan and Rayy, a pair of lifesize statues of palace guards, and an early thirteenth-century monumental bronze incense burner in the shape of a lion.

Detailed view of Islamic Bowl
Detailed view of Islamic Bowl

About this particular piece, MetMuseum.org states:

The figures and decoration on the interior of this bowl combine imagery of the courtly cycle and astronomy. In the center the sun is surrounded by personifications of the planets (clockwise) Mars, Mercury, Venus, the moon, Saturn, and Jupiter. Islamic astronomers believed the planets orbited the earth, forming seven concentric circles. An eighth, outer sphere contained the constellations and signs of the zodiac, possibly represented by the six large and twelve small gold circles between the planets’ heads.

View more items on display in Gallery 453.

Inspiration for Today

Our conscious mind usually communicates with us via words (thoughts, ideas). Our subconscious mind communicates with us via imagery and symbols (dreams, intuition creative activities).

Today’s mandala inspires us to learn more about ourselves and why we do the things we do by communicating with our subconscious mind in some symbolic, creative way. One such way we can do this is via doodle mandalas, a process I created and describe on my Mandala Readings site.

Happy Coloring!

If you would want your mandala or your idea for a mandala to be considered for the “Mandala of the Day”, read about how on the Participate page. It’s easy! Or recommend one you’ve seen via my Contact page.


follow me on:
icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-instagram icon-pinterest icons-tumblr


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s