Court art of Sogdian Samarqand in the 7th century AD

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Western wall

Problems of a new reconstruction

In 1999 a magnificent publication on Central Asian art appeared in France: Les arts de l'Asie centrale, P. Chuvin, (ed.) [= L'art et les grandes civilisations] - Paris. On page 736 there is a tiny image (ill. 736) showing a reconstruction of the western wall murals. This drawing is signed by B. Maršak. Below we have a section of this image with the left (southern) part of the reconstruction:

imge after Chuvin 1999, ill. 736 (detail)

This reconstruction obviously "borrows" some details from my own attempt (published already in 1993), unfortunately without one word concerning the ownership of the idea. Look below:

reconstruction by M. Mode (1993)

The decisive part is a great lacuna in the paintings marked on my sketch with arrows and an "x". In the lower part of this area (marked as R2 = second register) I supposed two figures: 4A and 5A. These two figures reappear in Maršaks reconstruction. The irony is that Maršak has furnished my figure 5A with a new headgear and with this he made the person a king like figure 4. - But there can be no doubt that figure 5A must have been the remaining third group captain (with figures 5 and 6) leading the whole delegation. And only this configuration gives a sense to the supposed nature of figure 4A: He must have been a princely person because he doesn't belong to the group captains and because he stands in front of king no. 4.

NB: Maršak's reconstruction lacks figure 1 although traces of this person are evidently visible on the original paintings. [Read more on the left end of this wall] - [Read more on Maršak's reconstruction]

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