Opaque lapis-lazuli based paint, and gold on paper. This splendid calligraphic lion is an example of zoomorphic writing where calligraphers blended the arts of writing and drawing by using words to form animal and human shapes. The choice of the lion is quite pertinent since the Arabic text is a supplication to ‘Ali, the Prophet Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law, who was the fourth Caliph and first imam. Because of his courage and valor, ‘Ali was known to Sunni and Shia Muslims by the epithet ‘The Lion of God’. The prayer, known as Nad-e ‘Ali, was typically used by Shia Muslims to seek ‘Ali’s help and support in times of stress and sorrow.
21 by 16 cm.
Share this lot