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Title: Composition and Continuity in Sasanian Rock Reliefs
Author(s): THOMPSON, Emma
Journal: Iranica Antiqua
Volume: 43    Date: 2008   
Pages: 299-358
DOI: 10.2143/IA.43.0.2024052

Abstract :
The cliffs of Iran are adorned with rock reliefs from every period of its long history. During the years that the Sasanian dynasty ruled Iran, artists added to this collection considerably. These monuments are individual capsules of information on the general political, religious, historical and artistic milieu of the time. This paper presents a method for furthering our understanding of the Sasanian period through an analysis of the composition of each Sasanian relief. The analysis is based on the hypothesis that composition will serve as an indicator of artistic continuity and change and encode an artistic signature of sorts indicating the artists’ background and training. The initial results suggest that the reliefs of the early Sasanian period reflect the work of artists from at least two schools of art.

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