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 examine 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-examination of earlier ways, emphasis is put on pertaining to picture to textual content, on stylistic affiliations, and at the modalities of creation, supported by way of technical analyses undertaken for the 1st time. In elucidating the actual context of this distinct manuscript, the learn contributes to our knowing of a serious interval within the improvement of center jap portray and paintings.

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Additional 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

It is therefore quite obvious that at least one folio is missing. That there should have also been an illustration of the Monkey is certain, because on fol. 193r there is a very clear mark left by the colours of such a painting. Moreover, like the Dog, this animal comes under the Wild Quadrupeds, all of which are depicted. Within the section on birds, its order restored to Cockerel, Hen, and then Partridge, the next the manuscript disturbance affects the Goose and the Duck. The Naʿt section and painting are at fols.

In the Escorial these have separate entries, and in the Naʿt, despite the compound heading, the text discusses them in that order, the characteristics and usefulness of the Chameleon being followed by the beginning of the characteristics of the kubaḥ on fol. 250v—but there is then a break with a further missing folio. In the Escorial the kubaḥ is followed by the Cockroaches and Dung beetles, and the missing folio may have contained an illustration of the Dung Beetles as well as the minuscule one of a Cockroach that has survived by virtue of being wrongly pasted at the bottom of fol.

In such places restoring the original the manuscript 17 Fig. 12. Layout of text and image of the Bat. Naʿt, fols. 197r, 198r (56r, 57r). sequence has been rendered difficult not just because some folios are missing, but especially because in parts of what remains some illustrations and rubrics have been omitted, so that a simple reading of the text can only go so far. Beyond the primary tools of syntactic and semantic coherence between folios, the reconstruction thus also needs to call upon external sources.

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