Relief of a Persian servant

Near Eastern, Iranian, Persian
550–331 B.C.

Place of Origin: Iran, Persepolis, Palace of Xerxes, western stairway


Height x width: 69.2 x 32.1 cm (27 1/4 x 12 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


On View

Ancient Near East Gallery (Gallery 110)


The Ancient World



Relief of a Persian servant at the annual “March of Nations” which took place in the Persian New Year festival near the spring equinox. This ceremony declared the loyalty of the nations encompassed by the Persian Empire to the king. In this relief, Persian and Median servants bring food and drink to the banquet following the ceremony. The Persian carrying a covered dish wears typical court dress whose naturalistic folds are unusual in ancient Near Eastern art and indicate the influence of Greek sculpture. Many Greek artisans were employed in the Persian court at this time.


From Persepolis, Palace of Xerxes, western stairway. 1931: purchased by the MFA through Arthur Upham Pope for £100. (Accession Date: May 7, 1931)

Credit Line

Charles Amos Cummings Fund