Composite Camel with Attendant

Not on view

While composite animals such as this one are known from earlier periods of Persian art, they gained in popularity toward the end of the sixteenth century. Here, comprising the overall shape of a camel, are found images of demons (divs), dervishes, embracing couples, rabbits, dragons, and even a Buddhist monk, sporting an earring and carrying a khakkhara (sounding) staff. The meaning of such images is open to interpretation, but many scholars believe them to have mystical significance—likely referring to the unity of all creatures within God.

Composite Camel with Attendant, Opaque watercolor and ink on paper

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