Bowl with Horseman, Iran, Nishapur, 10th century. Glazed earthenware,height: 3.5 in, 8.89 cm; diameter: 8.5 in, 21.59 cm. Museum exchange, 1967.93 © Denver Art Museum.

Nishapur, in northeastern Persia, was once a thriving cosmopolitan city on the east-west trade rout between China and the Mediterranean. The brown, green, and yellow underglaze on this bowl probably reflects the popularity of Chinese ceramics of the Tang dynasty (618-907), which have been found there. Though Arab Muslims were ruling the area by 900, their prohibition against using images did not interfere with this potter’s splendid depiction of a mounted horseman on a hunting expedition.