V&A Style in Islamic Art Quiz

Chinese motifs

Chinese motifs became common in Islamic art after the 1250s. This tile from a Mongol palace in north-west Iran is a very early example. It is decorated with a Chinese dragon and has Chinese lotus flowers in the frieze above. To the Mongols, like the Chinese, the dragon was a symbol of political authority, but for the Iranians it was an evil monster to be hunted down by heroes. Chinese dragons soon appeared in this role in Iranian painting.

Lustre tile
Iran, from Takht-i Sulayman
Museum No. 541-1900