Nov 20, 2009
Nov 20, 2009
Nov 20, 2009
Nov 20, 2009

Dragon in foliage with lion and phoenix heads

Dragon in foliage with lion and phoenix heads


attributed to Sahkulu


Ink, gold, opaque watercolors on paper

Sheet: 17.3 x 40.2 cm (6 13/16 x 15 13/16 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1944.492


Did you know?

The lion head and phoenix head are part of the foliage, like fantastical blossoms.


In this masterful drawing, a fierce undulating dragon entangled in swirling foliage is under attack from a lion above while assaulting a phoenix whose body dissolves into floral and foliate forms. The lion’s body undergoes a comparable zoomorphic transformation. This drawing represents the finest of the saz style, admired for elaborately curving flowers and leaves that flourished in the mid-1500s. The style was led by the Iranian-trained artist Sahkulu, who joined the Ottoman imperial painting atelier in Istanbul in 1526 and became the head of the atelier in 1545. A verse from the Qur'an, 40:44, is inscribed in the stamp: "And I commit my case unto God."

See also
Islamic Art
Islamic Art
Type of artwork: 

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