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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 learn 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 ways, emphasis is put on concerning photo to textual content, on stylistic affiliations, and at the modalities of construction, supported by means of technical analyses undertaken for the 1st time. In elucidating the actual context of this targeted manuscript, the examine contributes to our realizing of a serious interval within the improvement of heart jap portray and paintings.
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Extra 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
12). Reconstruction of the Manuscript We do not know why and when the manuscript was dismantled, when folios were lost and the original order disturbed before being reassembled and rebound. But it must have been in its present condition when it arrived at the British Museum in 1884, for otherwise Charles Rieu would have probably tried to restore the proper sequence of the folios, whereas in his catalogue he merely records, with delicate understatement, that the pagination of the book has been altered.
Backing onto the fourth frontispiece, has the basmala and the heading “Characteristic of the Partridge” (Naʿt al-ḥ ajal ), within gold frames with an interlaced arabesque drawn in black ink within them (Fig. 13). As discussed above, this text does not belong here. That it is a later addition is confirmed by the differences in the inks: the red of the title is not the same as that used elsewhere, being vermilion as against the prevailing red that has a white lead component and therefore oxides; and the brown/black ink is also different from the one used elsewhere: it disappears completely under multispectral imaging near infrared, reacting more like a European iron gall ink, whereas the other ink does not: it fades, but remains visible throughout the infrared spectrum, thus indicating a different chemical composition.
Then the text goes back to the (mutilated) chapter of the Dog, as the other texts of the same tradition confirm (see Escorial fols. 47v, 49v, 50r for the sequence Bear, Leopard, Dog). The Naʿt section of the Dog is not to be found in any other part of the manuscript. It is therefore quite obvious that at least one folio is missing, containing the further material on the Leopard, including the whole usefulness section, and the beginning of the Dog. That there was also a painting of the Dog is almost certain considering the arrangement of the manuscript: this animal comes under the Wild Quadrupeds, a section in which every animal treated is also depicted.
A World of Beasts: A Thirteenth-Century Illustrated Arabic Book on Animals (the Kitāb Na‘t al-Ḥayawān) in the Ibn Bakhtīshū‘ Tradition by Anna Contadini