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Friday Seminar: Central Asia Wall Paintings

by klarich — last modified April 20, 2009 11:19 AM
What Friday Seminar
When May 08, 2009
from 04:00 pm to 06:00 pm
Where Cotsen Seminar Room (Fowler A222)
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The Kazakly-yatkan Wall paintings: Colour, Display and the Visual Construction of Authority in an Elite pre-Islamic Iranian Context.


Fiona Kidd, Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Archaeology, University of Sydney.

The monumental building complex at Kazakly-yatkan in ancient Chorasmia (Uzbekistan) provides a unique opportunity for the contextualised study of colour and display in the 1st century BCE eastern Iranian world.  Colour at Kazakly-yatkan was produced using various media and techniques.  Employing a sophisticated artistic literacy, the combination of polychrome mural art and relief sculptures, gold leaf, moulded copper alloy, painted columns, and stone column bases indicate that a planned programme of visual art decorated the complex.  Part of this programme included an in situ procession scene and a ‘portrait’ gallery comprising at least 27 bust portraits.  A breakdown of the display elements used in the paintings, particularly colour, raises significant issues in the visual construction of authority.  Through a contextualised study of the role of colour and display, this paper offers critical perspectives on the visual representation of authority set against the broader historical background of this little known period in Central Asia.

For more information about this project, visit here.

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