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Islamic Art

Islamic art is generally reckoned to cover all of the visual arts produced in the lands where Muslims were an important, if not the most important, segment of society. Islamic art differs, therefore,…

The House of Wisdom Baghdad

From Cuneiform to Topkapi

In the Islamic world, where reading and literacy have always been highly prized for the access they provide to the word of God and the world of knowledge, books were objects of both…

Filigree Bindings of the Mamluk Period

The technique of leather filigree work is an ancient one; it was known to the Copts and has been found on binding fragments from Turfan dating from the eighth and ninth centuries.1 Within…

hb_55.121.10.38,39

The Shah Jehan (Emperor’s) Album

The Shah Jahan Album, also known as the Emperor’s Album or Kevorkian Album, features fifty illustrated and calligraphy folios, forty-one of which belong to the Metropolitan Museum, and nine of which reside in…

Leaf from an Arabic translation of the Materia Medica of Dioscorides ("The Pharmacy"), dated 1224 Iraq, Baghdad School Colors and gilt on paper

Leaf from an Arabic translation of the Materia Medica of Dioscorides

This folio is painted in the lively and appealing style of the Baghdad School: bright colors, sprightly figures in contemporary local dress, and a balanced, bilaterally symmetrical composition. The neutral color of the…

Leaf from Futuh al-Haramain (Description of the Two Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina), mid-16th century; Ottoman Probably Turkey, Ink, colors, and gold on paper, 8 3/8 x 5 1/4 in. (21.3 x 13.3 cm)

Leaf from Futuh al-Haramain

(Description of the Two Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina) Futuh al-Haramain is an example of a genre of religious writing devoted to the hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage. It serves as a guide to pilgrims…

Leaf from the Shahnama (Book of Kings), 14th century; Ilkhanid Firdausi, Author Iraq or Iran Ink, colors, and gold on paper

Leaf from the Shahnama (Book of Kings)

The legendary death of the Sasanian king Yazdegerd I—who was said to have been kicked by a horse that magically emerged from a spring—is charmingly depicted in this leaf from a dispersed manuscript…

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