Shared motifs and designs in the art of diverse cultures along the Silk Route provide some of the most visible evidence of cultural transmission between China and the Islamic world. Through trade, tribute, gift exchange, and the spread of religions such as Buddhism, Manichaeism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, imagery associated with one artistic tradition was often adapted or incorporated in another cultural context.
A blue-and-white Iranian dish with Chinese cloud collar motifs illustrates how motifs evolved or were reinterpreted. The blue-and-white inspiration from China underwent several transformations in Iran as well as in the Ottoman Empire, where designs were combined with new colors and motifs to create the celebrated Iznik style of ceramics.
Large plate with a low wide foot, a rounded marly and a narrow spreading rim. Cream white porcelaineous ware covered with a white slip and a transparent colorless glaze which stops on the foot and covers the base, and decorated on the cavetto with a circular medallion enclosing a curious version of a Chinese dragon, set open a field of an all-over pattern of floral and arabesque tracery and on the marly with repeat pendant trefoil medallions, which enclose lotus leaves and stylized lotus flowers and are connected with scalloped bands, from which hang lotus flowers and tassels, all in a pale blue under the glaze. The rim has a border of jasmine flower vines and the back is decorated with wavy vines of foliated arabesques and lotus flowers in underglaze blue. The base has an indistinct potter's mark in underglaze blue and the foot is chipped.