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Dragon in foliage with lion and phoenix heads


attributed to Sahkulu

(Turkish, active 1526–56)
Sheet: 17.3 x 40.2 cm (6 13/16 x 15 13/16 in.)
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Did You Know?

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


A dragon lunges toward a pearl in the form of a seal inscribed with a verse from the Koran: “And I commit my case unto God” (40:44). In his front claw, the dragon grasps two flowering branches that magically produce a variety of blooms, including a lion that bites the dragon’s neck and a phoenix, who competes for the pearl.

Sahkulu was trained by Persian artists, as were many artists of Mughal India during the 1500s. He joined the Ottoman imperial painting atelier in Istanbul in 1526 and became the head in 1545.
Dragon in foliage with lion and phoenix heads

Dragon in foliage with lion and phoenix heads



(Turkish, active 1526–56)
Ottoman Turkey, Istanbul

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