A World of Beasts: A Thirteenth-Century Illustrated Arabic Book on Animals (the Kit?b Na‘t Al-?ayaw?n) in the Ibn Bakht?sh?‘ Tradition

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BRILL, Nov 11, 2011 - Social Science - 209 pages
The "Kit b Na t al- ayaw n" is the earliest of a group of illustrated manuscripts dealing with the characteristics of animals and their medicinal uses. The present study considers both the confluence of textual traditions within this work and the stylistic and iconographic relationships of its illustrations, which make it a key witness to early thirteenth-century Arab painting. After a re-evaluation of previous approaches, emphasis is placed on relating image to text, on stylistic affiliations, and on the modalities of production, supported by technical analyses undertaken for the first time. In elucidating the particular context of this unique manuscript, the study contributes to our understanding of a critical period in the development of Middle Eastern painting and art.
 

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Contents

Image and Context
1
II The Manuscript
11
III Text and Sources
39
IV The Frontispieces and Other Human Figures
55
V The Animals of the Nat
85
VI Composition Iconography and Style
103
VII Date and Provenance
147
VIII Patronage and Milieu
157
Appendix One Analyses of Colours Ink and Gold by Dr Paul Garside Conservation Scientist British Library
165
Appendix Two List of Illustrations
167
Appendix Three Selected List of Illuminated and Illustrated Manuscripts Cited
171
Colour Plates
175
Bibliography
175
Index
193
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About the author (2011)

Anna Contadini, PhD (1992) in Islamic Art, SOAS, London University, is currently Reader in Islamic Art at SOAS. She has worked as Curator at the V&A and the Chester Beatty Library, and as Lecturer at Trinity College, Dublin. Her numerous publications include "Arab Painting: Text and Image in Illustrated Arabic Manuscripts," Brill 2007 and 2010, and "Fatimid Art at the Victoria and Albert Museum," V&A 1998.

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