Lion, ch’i-lin, and dragon set in floral sprays

citation

Historical period(s)
Ottoman period, mid-16th century
Medium
Ink, color and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W: 17.5 x 28.5 cm (6 7/8 x 11 1/4 in)
Geography
Turkey
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
F1948.17
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Drawing
Type

Folio

Keywords
dragon, flower, guardian lion, lion, Ottoman period (1307 - 1922), qilin, qilin, Turkey, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Previous Owner(s)

Hagop Kevorkian 1872 - 1962

Label

Animals in ferocious combat are a recurring theme in sixteenth-century Ottoman art. In this remarkable drawing, a lion devours a ch'i-lin, a Chinese mythical animal, while a dragon is about to swallow a frightened bird perched helplessly on its tongue. Although the ch'i-lin and dragon were inspired by Chinese models, the depiction of these animals as fearsome, battling creatures is alien to Chinese art and is more characteristic of Ottoman and Persian pictorial language.

The composition is noteworthy for its use of undulating lines, which lend tremendous energy and vitality to the contorted bodies of the animals and the scrolling floral vine. This particular style of drawing, one of the most impressive achievements of sixteenth-century Ottoman art, also adapted to ceramic and tile designs.

Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum