Acta Via Serica

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Central Asian Studies

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Original Articles Home > Acta Via Serica > Archives > Original Articles
Volume Vol. 3 No. 1
Pages pp. 119~138 (all 20 pages)
Publication Date June, 2018
Keyword dragon, miniature painting, saz style, calligraphy, Ottoman Empire, China, Munchado
Abstract The dragon of the East was an object of worship and an authority to make rain, unlike the West. The dragon image, one of the positively accepted Chinese motifs with the blue-and-white porcelain of the Ming dynasty by the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century, was combined with gigantic saw-edged leaves to create a genre in Saz style. By combining Eastern dragons with plant motifs instead of clouds, dragons were no longer accepted as authority and nobility but as symbols of life and longevity. Unlike Iran and other countries, the image of dragons in Turkish miniature paintings has evolved into a unique style using Turkish calligraphy. The stylistic feature is that a thick black line that gives the impression of calligraphy forms the dragon’s back or a huge saz leaf stalk and forms the axis of the screen. Most of the work was black ink drawing, not painting, and partly lightly painted. In the development stage, the dragon appears as a protagonist on the screen of the early works, but the dragon retreats to the latter half and the saz leaves play a leading role on the screen. A common feature in all paintings, whether early or late, is that they have a militant character and create tension on the screen. From the viewpoint of comparative culture, Turkish dragon miniature drawings of the 16th-century Ottoman period and the Joseon dynasty are somewhat similar in that they are based on calligraphic character and desire for longevity and loyalty, and are drawn according to certain iconic principles.