Two demons, fettered

citation

Historical period(s)
Timurid period, 15th century
Medium
Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W (painting): 14.6 × 22.1 cm (5 3/4 × 8 11/16 in)
Geography
Iran or Central Asia
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
F1937.25
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Drawing
Type

Drawing

Keywords
Central Asia, demon, fiddle, Iran, Timurid period (1378 - 1506), WWII-era provenance
Provenance

To at least 1931
Sakisian Collection. [1]

To 1937
Hagop Kevorkian (1872-1962), New York. [2]

From 1937
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Hagop Kevorkian, New York. [3]

Notes:

[1] Curatorial Remark 3 in the object record.

[2] Curatorial Remark 1 in the object record.

[3] See note 2.

Previous Owner(s)

Hagop Kevorkian 1872 - 1962
Sakisian collection

Label

Timurid princes were passionate collectors of Chinese luxury goods, a practice that inspired local artists to experiment with the new styles and motifs found on such imports and to integrate them into their own work.

One intriguing and enigmatic series of drawings and paintings that incorporates Chinese pictorial conventions shows monsters and demons (div) in various activities and poses. These wild, highly expressive creatures contrast sharply with the elegant and emotionally reserved men and women typically seen in Timurid paintings and recall Central Asian and Chinese models and techniques. Frequently, the demons appear with familiar objects, as seen in this remarkable tinted drawing. The one on the right, for instance, plays a spiked fiddle (kamancha), a musical instrument that was popular in Iran and Central Asia. His companion holds a gold cup and a Chinese blue-and-white bottle decorated with a writhing dragon. The style and technique of drawing also owes more to Chinese than Persian pictorial conventions. Both ferocious and comical, these fantastic figures are among the most distinct and powerful images created during the fifteenth century.

Published References
  • Dr. Esin Atil. The Brush of the Masters: Drawings from Iran and India. Exh. cat. Washington, 1978. cat. 10, p. 30.
  • Ars Orientalis: The Arts of Islam and The East. vol. 1 Washington and Ann Arbor, 1954. pl. 24, fig. 55.
  • Peter Alford Andrews. The Turco-Mongol Contact of Some Objects Shown in the Istanbul Album Pictures. no. 1. fig. 210.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Emperors, Peris, and Demons in Near Eastern Art. Washington, November 1978. p. 150.
  • Lawrence Binyon, J.V.S. Wilkinson, Basil Gray. Persian Miniature Painting: A Descriptive Catalogue of the Miniatures Exhibited at Burlington House, January-March 1931. Exh. cat. Oxford, January - March 1931. no. 100, p. 103.
  • David J. Roxburgh. Turks: A Journey of a Thousand Years, 600-1600. London and New York. fig. 38.
  • George Henry Farmer. Islam. Leipzig. p. 111.
  • Geza Feherari Phillip Denwood. Metal and Other Objects in Some of the Istanbul Paintings. no. 1. fig. 210.
  • Ernst Grube. The Problem of the Istanbul Album Paintings. vol. 1. fig. 210.
  • Claus Haase. On the Attribution of Some Paintings in H. 2153 to the Time of Timur. vol. 1. fig. 210.
  • Mazhar Sevket Ipsiroglu Mehmet Siyahkalem. Siyah Qalem. Graz, Austria. pl. 55.
  • A.M. Kevorkian. Les Jardins du Desir: Sept Siecles de Peinture Persane. Paris. pp. 34-35.
  • Georges Marteau Henri Vever. Miniatures Persanes: tirees des collections de M.M. Henry d'Allemagne, Claude Anet, Henri Aubrey... 2 vols., Paris, June-October 1912. pl. 54.
  • Armenag Sakisian. Some Sino-Persian Monsters. vol. 70, no. 407 London, February 1937. pp. 78-81.
  • William Watson. Chinese Style in the Paintings of the Istanbul Albums. no. 1. fig. 210.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum