By Anna Contadini

The Kitāb Naʿt al-Ḥayawān is the earliest of a bunch of illustrated manuscripts facing the features of animals and their medicinal makes use of. the current learn considers either the confluence of textual traditions inside of 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 earlier methods, emphasis is put on bearing on snapshot to textual content, on stylistic affiliations, and at the modalities of construction, supported via technical analyses undertaken for the 1st time. In elucidating the actual context of this specified manuscript, the learn contributes to our knowing of a serious interval within the improvement of heart jap portray and paintings.

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

Sample text

90v), to the section on Shells, which continues to fol. 93v, but then jumps to fol. 244r–v, followed by 254v. We then have Frogs, but fol. 254 has been bound the wrong way round, with the Manāfiʿ section on 254r preceding the Naʿt on the verso. The text on the Frogs continues on fols. 237r–240v, then, on fol. 240v we have the section on Reptiles and Insects (al-dabbāb wa-’lzaḥ ḥ āf, which corresponds exactly to “creepycrawlies”), beginning with Snakes. Unfortunately, this section is very disorganized, and reconstruction is rendered particularly difficult by the fact that from a certain point (fol.

To convey shadows or to suggest successive planes, different tones are juxtaposed without softening the passage from one to the other. 8 The faces of the figures in the frontispieces, for example, have been erased and another hand has crudely redrawn them, using strong black ink, in an evidently later style. This ink has also been made with carbon black, which was used in the Middle East over a long period of time and so cannot be used for dating. In some other cases, lines that were faded or that were originally delicate in tone, have been drawn over with a strong black ink, as in some of the delicate detailing of parts of the body of an animal (as in the Owl, Cat.

180v (= Esc. fol. 139v), and then on fols. 251r–252r (= Esc. fols. 139v–140v), where the text on the Scorpion begins and continues until 252v, where it breaks off. In the Escorial the corresponding point occurs on fol. 141r, with the remainder of the account of the Scorpion continuing until fol. 141v, followed by the Beetles and the ʿaḍāh16 wa-’l-wazagh, the Wall Gecko. In the Naʿt we find the latter part of the usefulness of the Wall Gecko beginning at fol. 249r (= Esc. fol. 142v), followed by the Green Lizard ʿaḍāya,17 and continuing until fol.

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