A lion at rest is captured in elegant strokes of black ink. The court of the epic King Keyomars is celebrated in vivid colours. A hero slaying a dragon is depicted in exquisite detail. The stellar works of art that make up the exhibition In Search of the Artist: Signed Drawings and Paintings from the Aga Khan Museum Collection depict a wide range of themes with extraordinary delicacy. Through signature and style, they have been attributed to such renowned artists as Behzad and Mo‘in Mosavvir, living in Iran, India, and Central Asia from the 15th to 17th centuries: the golden age of the art of the book. These works reveal a wealth of information about the artists who made them and the transfer of artistic influence across generations and geographic borders. Tracing these stories illuminates the social context the artists worked in and the traditions that affected their practice.
Dr. Filiz Çakır Phillip is Associate Curator at the Aga Khan Museum and the author of Enchanted Lines: Drawings from the Aga Khan Museum Collection, a companion book to the exhibition In Search of the Artist. She was formerly a curator at the Museum für Islamische Kunst in Berlin.