Enchanted Lines


Lions, elephants, camels, dragons, birds, horses, and people all feature in centuries-old drawings in delicate black ink and colour from the Aga Khan Museum’s superb collection of Islamic art.

Enchanted Lines brings together exceptional examples of some of the best drawings in the Aga Khan Museum’s collection of Islamic art, with special emphasis on those works known to have been created by a particular artist, whether actually signed or attributed by others to a certain artist. Author Filiz Çakır Phillip showcases these drawings in their historical and artistic context and provides incisive background on techniques and themes.

Islamic paintings and drawings of the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries from Iran, Mughal India, and India’s Deccan Plateau were the fruit of a long tradition mainly developed to tell and illustrate stories in literary manuscripts, though later single-page works became more common. The paintings from this period are well-known for their vivid colours, but the drawings, whether executed with brushes in black ink or subtle colour, have a lovely delicacy in their depiction of a wide range of subjects that includes lions and dragons, elephants and camels, birds and antelopes, or people.

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