Relief of a Persian guard

Near Eastern, Iranian, Persian
Achaemenid, reign of Xerxes
486–464 B.C.


Place of Origin: Iran, Persepolis, Palace of Xerxes

Dimensions

Height x width: 53 x 46.5 cm (20 7/8 x 18 5/16 in.)

Accession Number

40.170

Medium or Technique

Limestone

On View

Ancient Near East Gallery (Gallery 110)

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Relief

This figure is one of the Achaemenid king’s elite guard, who were called the Ten Thousand Immortals because if one soldier fell in battle, another would immediately step forward to take his place. The fragment was part of a long frieze depicting a single file of the Immortals. The relief was most likely once brightly painted with hues of yellow, blue, and purple.

Provenance

From the Palace of Xerxes, Persepolis. 1940, sold by Dikran G. Kelekian (dealer), New York, to the MFA for $12,500 [see note]. (Accession Date: April 11, 1940)

NOTE: Kelekian acquired at least five Persepolis reliefs from Sassoon Frères in Paris between 1931 and 1933; it is not known for certain whether this was among them. See Lindsay Allen, " 'The Greatest Enterprise': Arthur Upham Pope, Persepolis and Achaemenid Antiquities," in Arthur Upham Pope and a New Survey of Persian Art, ed. Y. Kadoi (2016), p. 146.

Credit Line

Archibald Cary Coolidge Fund