Sunday, December 19, 2010

Illuminated Manuscript Poem in Honor of the Prophet Muhammad, Walters Art Museum Ms. W.582, fol.14b

A beautifully calligraphed and illuminated small codex containing the famous poem in honor of the prophet Muhammad, popularly known as Qaṣīdat al-Burdah (“The poem of the Mantle”), composed by Sharaf al-Dīn Muḥammad al-Būṣīrī (d.694 AH / 1294 CE) and executed in a number of scripts, probably in Iran, by Ḥabīb Allāh ibn Dūst Muḥammad al-Khwārizmī in the 11th AH / 17th CE century.

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

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Treasure Binding, Walters Art Museum Ms. W.8

The Treasure Binding to our Ottonian Gospel Book, W.8, has just been conserved at The walters by Meg Craft. I took this snap shot, and i think it looks magnificent

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Plowing and Selling Produce, Walters Art Museum, Ms. W.749a

Above a farmer plows; below a seated young man watches a produce seller weigh his purchase. Such scenes of everyday activities became especially popular in the medium of drawing. On the rocks in the center foreground of this tinted wash drawing is inscribed the name of one of the most famous painters of 17th-century Iran, Riza ‘Abbasi. As the signature on the painting does not match that of the artist, an admirer of Riza’s work may have attributed the painting to him. The inscription Riz̤ā ʿAbbāsī appears in the rocks in the center foreground. The image is surrounded by a two-toned floral and fauna motifs borders on pink-tinted paper.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Medieval Book. Glosses from Friends & Colleagues of Christopher de Hamel

Just out, edited by Jim Marrow, Richard Linenthal and myself; over forty six contributors - scholars, dealers, collectors. Lavishly illustrated, designed by the great Jerry Kelly, published by Hes & De Graaf, and available here and now! 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Five poems (quintet), Walters Art Museum, Ms. W.624, fol.58a

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. Khusraw and Shīrīn preside over the wedding of youths.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Illuminated Manuscript The island of Syros (Sire) in the Aegean Sea, from Book on Navigation, Walters Art Museum Ms. W.658, fol.113b

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).

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

Friday, December 3, 2010

Illuminated Manuscript Koran, Text page with illuminated heading for chapter 79, Walters Art Museum Ms. W.562, fol.5b

A leaf from an elegantly calligraphed and illuminated large codex containing a part of the Qur'an with the suras 78 through 114 and executed probably in Iran in the 9th AH / 15th CE century.

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

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Illuminated Manuscript Poem Suz va gudaz, Walters Art Museum Ms. W.649, fol. 17b

An elegantly calligraphed, illuminated and illustrated copy of the poem Sūz va gudāz ('Burning and melting') by Nawʿī Khabūshānī (d.1019 AH /1610 CE) which recounts the love story of a Hindu girl who decides to burn herself on the pyre of her betrothed killed accidentally just before their marriage. The present codex was penned by Ibn Sayyid Murād al-Ḥusaynī and illustrated by Muḥammad ʿAlī Mashhadī in 1068 AH / 1657 CE. Here Prince Dāniyāl accompanies the girl to the funeral pyre.

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