Smithsonian Freer Gallery Sackler Gallery National Museum of Asian Art Gallery Guide Arts of the Islamic World
IntroductioncalligraphyAbstract DesignArts of the Bookpage 1page 2page 3The Art of the Object

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One of the most intriguing and enigmatic group of drawings from medieval Iran depicts fantastic animals and demonds (div) in various poses and activities. The artist was clearly familar with Chinese techniques, such as tinted drawings, as well as with imported luxury objects, as is evident from the blue-and-white vase held by one of the demons. At the same time, his ability to animate the figures with such energy, ferocity, and humor has transformed the drawing into a highly unusual and original work of art.
Two Fettered Demons
Two Fettered Demons
Iran or Central Asia, 15th century
Ink, color, and gold on paper
14.6 x 22.1 cm
Purchase 1937.25


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