Thursday, November 25, 2010

Decorated page, from Poems (tarji'band), Walters Art Museum Ms. W.651, fol. 2a

This is an illuminated and illustrated manuscript of a small collection of short love poems of the type called tarjī`band by Nūr al-Dīn ‘Abd al-Raḥmān Jāmī (d. 898 AH / 1492 CE). It was copied in black nasta‘līq script by the calligrapher Muḥammad Zamān al-Tabrīzī in 998 AH / 1589-90 CE in Safavid Iran. The text is written on orange tinted paper and the bluish-green borders are illuminated throughout. The manuscript opens with an illuminated incipit page with a headpiece (1b) and there are two illustrations (3a, 6a). The Qajar lacquer binding is decorated with floral motifs and is inscribed with verses attributed to Imām ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib. This text page is written in nasta‘līq script on orange tinted paper by the calligrapher Muḥammad Zamān al-Tabrīzī in 998 AH / 1589-90 CE in Safavid Iran. The bluish-green borders are illuminated in an early Safavid style.

19th century photos of Mecca published by @hesdegraaf

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Illuminated Manuscript, Gospels, Walters Art Museum Ms. W.592, fol. 2b

This illuminated and illustrated Arabic manuscript of the Gospels by Matthew (Mattá), Mark (Marquṣ), Luke (Lūqā), and John (Yūḥannā) was copied in Egypt by Ilyās Bāsim Khūrī Bazzī Rāhib, who was most likely a Coptic monk, in Anno Mundi 7192 / 1684 CE. The text is written in naskh in black ink with rubrics in red. Painted floral composition ending the preface to the Gospel of Matthew.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Five poems (quintet), Walters Art Museum, Ms. W.624, fol.42a

This is a deluxe copy of the Quintet (Khamsah) of Amīr Khusraw Dihlavī (d.725 AH /1325 CE). Although now incomplete, this manuscript was penned in nastaʿlīq script by the famous late 16th century Mughal calligrapher Muḥammad Ḥusayn Zarrīn Qalam al-Kashmīrī and decorated by a number of illuminators and painters. Its illustrations are signed by eleven painters: Laʿl (Lāl), Manūhar, Sānwalah, Farrukh, Alīqulī, Dharamdās, Narsing, Jagannāth, Miskīnā, Mukund, and Sūrdās Gujarātī. On the other hand, its headpieces and a medallion are inscribed with the names of Ḥusayn Naqqāsh, Manṣūr Naqqāsh, Khvājah Jān Shīrāzī, and Luṭf Allāh Muẕahhib. The codex has beautifully decorated borders with vegetal, bird, animal motifs and human figures. The figures are portrayed in various traditional activities such as praying, reading and hunting. Frontsipiece to the 2nd book of the Khamsah,Shīrīn va Khusraw, signed ʿamal-i ʿamal-i Ḥusayn Naqqāsh.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Illuminated Manuscript Khamsa, Walters Art Museum Ms. 609, fol. 25a

An elegantly illuminated and illustrated copy of the Khamsah (quintet) of Niẓāmī Ganjavī (d.605 AH / 1209 CE) executed by Yār Muḥammad al-Haravī in 922 AH / 1516 CE. Written in four columns in black nastaʿlīq script, this manuscripts opens with a double-page decorative composition signed by ʿAbd al-Wahhāb ibn ʿAbd al-Fattāḥ ibn ʿAlī, of which this is one side. It contains 35 miniatures. Two scholars quarreling in the presence of the king. The inscription on the left reads al-sulṭān al-ʿādil.

See this manuscript page by page at the Walters Art Museum website:

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Illuminated Manuscript, Map of the city of Ferrara with the six rivers flowing into the Gulf of Venice from Book on Navigation, Walters Art Museum Ms. W.658, fol.187a

Originally composed in 932 AH / 1525 CE and dedicated to Sultan Süleyman I ("The Magnificent"), this great work by Piri Reis (d. 962 AH / 1555 CE) on navigation was later revised and expanded. The present manuscript, made mostly in the late 11th AH / 17th CE century, is based on the later expanded version with some 240 exquisitely executed maps and portolan charts. They include a world map (fol.41a) with the outline of the Americas, as well as coastlines (bays, capes, peninsulas), islands, mountains and cities of the Mediterranean basin and the Black Sea. The work starts with the description of the coastline of Anatolia and the islands of the Aegean Sea, the Peloponnese peninsula and eastern and western coasts of the Adriatic Sea. It then proceeds to describe the western shores of Italy, southern France, Spain, North Africa, Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, western Anatolia, various islands north of Crete, Sea of Marmara, Bosporus and the Black Sea. It ends with a map of the shores of the the Caspian Sea (fol.374a).

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Digitised Resources in Islamic Studies (DigiIslam)

This Review of User Requirements for Digitised Resources in Islamic Studies commission by JISC, and out of the University of Exeter, is a truly excellent assessment of the situation in 2008, and a really important benchmark document, which goes by the name of DigiIslam.

Collection of poems (masnavi), Walters Art Museum Ms. W.625, fol. 256b

Floral and foliate decoration in gold. Leaf from an elegantly calligraphed and illuminated copy of the collection of poems, known as Mas̱navī-i maʿnavī, by Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī (d.672 AH / 1273 CE). This codex was penned by Aḥmad ibn Ḥājjī Abī Bakr al-Kātib in 865 AH / 1461 CE.

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Great manuscript of the Koran, ninth century, beautiful calligraphy walters NEH islamic

Monday, November 8, 2010

Five poems (quintet), Walters Art Museum Ms. W.607, fol. 29b

This is an illustrated copy of four of the five poems that comprise the Khamsah of Niẓāmī Ganjavī (d.605 AH / 1209 CE). It does not include Laylá va Majnūn. The text was copied by a certain Yādkār the Calligrapher (al-Kātib) in 935 AH / 1529 CE, most probably in Safavid Iran. An illuminated double-page composition opens the manuscript and each poem is initiated with a decorative headpiece. The miniatures appear to have been repainted at some point in the manuscript’s history. Their date and provenance are open to question. The textblock is bound in late Zand lacquer covers with scenes depicting Bahrām Gūr hunting and Khusraw watching Shīrīn bathing. At a court gathering an old woman speaks with a confidant of King Jamshīd.

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Illuminated Manuscript Anthology of Persian poetry, Walters Art Museum Ms. W.653, fol. 19b

This small anthology of Persian poetry consisting of poems by such authors as Jāmī, Azārī, Fayz̤ī, Navāʾī, and Saʿdī was put together by an anonymous scribe in 1105 AH / 1693 CE. Illustrated with six miniatures, the margins of this manuscript are embellished with stenciled designs of angels, men and animals. The folio illustrates a young man standing with a pomegranate in his right hand.

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Illuminated Manuscript Koran, Walters Art Museum Ms. W.552, fol. 2a

A leaf from a fragment of the Koran (Qur'an) on parchment in horizontal format covering chapters 6 (al-Anʿām), verse 55 through 9 (al-Tawbah), verse 79 executed in an Early Abbasid script ('Kufic'), with chapter headings in gold ink, most probably in the 3rd AH / 9th CE century.

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Illuminated Manuscript of Poems by Jami, Walters Art Museum Ms. W.641, fol. 1b

The beginning of a book containing a selection of poems by the celebrated Nūr al-Dīn ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Jāmī (d.898/1492) penned in Herat (present-day Afghanistan) by Sulṭān ʿAlī in 899 AH / 1493-4 CE. Rectangular headpiece with the inscription in a decorated gold New Abbasid Style ('broken cursive') on deep-blue background reading: Allāh wa-lā siwāhu.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

1st image of West. Ms being taken. 30,000 to go. Ms. W.782, Hours, Cath of Cleves, cover

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Illuminated Manuscript of One Hundred Sayings, Walters Art Museum, Ms. W.615, fol. 3a

This beautifully illuminated manuscript contains One hundred sayings, known in Arabic as Mi’at kalimah and in Persian as Ṣad kalimah, attribted to of ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib, the fourth caliph of Islam, as well as a Persian paraphrase (dubayt) by Rashīd al-Dīn Muḥammad al-Balkhī, known as al-Waṭwāṭ (Vaṭvāṭ) (d. ca. 578 AH / 1182 CE). This polychrome text, using a number of scripts, was executed by an anonymous artist most probably in the 9th AH / 15th century.

See this manuscript page by page at the Walters Art Museum website: