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Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper
Image: 10.2 x 9 cm (4 x 3 9/16 in.); Overall: 24.7 x 18.2 cm (9 3/4 x 7 3/16 in.); Text area: 22.2 x 16.5 cm (8 3/4 x 6 1/2 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1945.382.a
This small illustration of ringdoves incorporates the influence of Chinese naturalism in the drawing of the tree trunk and lotus blossom. In contrast, the reverse side is more traditional. The innovative page layouts feature cursive nashki script with bold angular kufic script headings. Derived from Aristotelian sources, this treatise deals with the physical characteristics and organs of animals. The text was translated into Persian from Arabic for the Ilkhanid ruler Ghazan Khan (reigned 1295–1304). Roughly a dozen pages from this long-lost manuscript are known. It is dated by comparison with a similar manuscript made at Maragha, near Tabriz, in 1297 or 1299.
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