• Doha Hind

    Doha Hind


The Doha Hind (Fountainhead)

Spain, Madinat al-Zahra
Umayyad dynasty of al-Andalus,
330–400 AH / 940–1010 CE
Cast and incised gunmetal (copper alloy)
48.2 × 41.9 × 12 cm (including base)

The Doha Hind is one of the masterpieces of the MIA collection. The body of the animal was cast in one piece using the lost wax method, with the base made separately.

Given the lack of an opening directly into the belly of the hind, or a pipe leading into the mouth, it appears that water would have passed directly from a pipe into the pedestal and then through the legs and into the body, before leaving through the mouth. Luxury goods in Caliphal Spain – metalwork, but also ivories, silks, and marble – were commissioned largely by royalty, suggesting that the Hind would have been ordered by a member of the Spanish Umayyad elite.

This piece belongs to a larger body of metal animals attributed to Spain and southern Italy, including the Pisa Griffin (in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Pisa) and the Mari-Cha Lion (now in the Louvre Abu Dhabi).

The Doha Hind