A World of Beasts: A Thirteenth-Century Illustrated Arabic by Anna Contadini

By Anna Contadini

The Kitāb Naʿt al-Ḥayawān is the earliest of a gaggle of illustrated manuscripts facing the features of animals and their medicinal makes use of. the current research considers either the confluence of textual traditions inside this paintings and the stylistic and iconographic relationships of its illustrations, which make it a key witness to early thirteenth-century Arab portray. After a re-assessment of prior methods, emphasis is put on concerning picture to textual content, on stylistic affiliations, and at the modalities of creation, supported via technical analyses undertaken for the 1st time. In elucidating the actual context of this targeted manuscript, the research contributes to our realizing of a severe interval within the improvement of heart jap portray and artwork.

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Additional resources for A World of Beasts: A Thirteenth-Century Illustrated Arabic Book on Animals (the Kitāb Na‘t al-Ḥayawān) in the Ibn Bakhtīshū‘ Tradition

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Within the Naʿt itself, it should be stressed that equal weight is given to Aristotle and Ibn Bakhtīshūʿ7 as authorities; but neither can be considered the author, for examination of the text reveals that it is, if anything, an anonymous work. Indeed, it is a particular point of interest that the unnamed compiler explains, as the later manuscripts in the same tradition do not, that what he is presenting is a text juxtaposing materials derived from Aristotle 3 See Chapter One for a list of non-illustrated copies.

Alexander Morton has pointed out that the title of the owner that has been partially obliterated, together with the preceding name, may have been Fakhr al-Wāʿiẓīn, “Glory of the Preachers”. Such titles were bestowed by the Persian government in the nineteenth century, though this one need not necessarily have been officially granted. Though the note records the loan of the book, it does not state to whom it was lent. Above the Persian inscription there is an oval seal, in nastaʿlīq script: “. .

1600, probably Isfahan), in the Metropolitan Museum in New York, nos. 7, classified as “Herbal and Bestiary” in the Museum files. The text has not yet been securely identified, but it may be a Nuzhat nāma. 5 This is the case with a number of dispersed leaves, of which two are in the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York, M 790, attributed to Ibn Bakhtīshūʿ by Ettinghausen (library files), and two other leaves from the same manuscript in Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, no. 540–541, attributed to Ibn Bakhtīshūʿ by Coomaraswamy.

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