Dragon, Ibex, and Lion with a Man

Dragon, Ibex, and Lion with a Man, Isfahan Persia Early 17th Century

Dragon, Ibex, and Lion with a Man, Isfahan Persia Early 17th Century
Dragon, Ibex, and Lion with a Man, Isfahan Persia Early 17th Century
Dragon, Ibex, and Lion with a Man, Isfahan Persia Early 17th Century
Country of Origin: Isfahan Persia
Date of Origin Circa 1632
Comments: This is attributed to Reza-i-Abbasi but I think Sotheby's prudent to leave open the door to another artist. While superb in some areas it is not consistantly to the style of Reza-i-Abbasi. If this attribution is correct then this is from the final years of his work.

Although this drawing does not match the quality of other pictures by Riza-i, the style and composition are close to his work. It is likely to have been executed by one of Riza-i's contemporaries in his honour.

With the assimilation of Chinese art forms into Persian art during the late 13th and early 14th centuries, the dragon become fully integrated into the Persian artistic vocabulary and can be seen rendered on various media. At this time the dragon assaulting the lion is thought to have been symbolic of a solar eclipse, with the lion metaphorical of the sun.

The motif was to become a popular one in the 17th century, when the impact of the simple line drawing was rediscovered. With the rise of the Shiite Safavids the lion came to represent Ali 'the lion of God'. Rendered by the great artists of the time, Rizai Abbasi, Sadiqi Beg, Muin and Mussawir; the dragon and lion alone are more regularly seen locked in combat with one another, their timeless struggle captured on paper in a cyclical motif.
Dragon, Ibex, and Lion with a Man, Isfahan Persia Early 17th Century