Folio from an Arabic translation of De Materia Medica by Dioscorides (ca. 40-90 C.E.); verso: Two physicians preparing medicine; recto: text

citation

Detached folio from an Arabic translation of De materia medica by Pedanius Dioscorides; text: Arabic in black and red naskh script; recto: text, one column, 13 lines; verso: illustration and text, Two physicians preparing medicine, one column, 7 lines; one of a group of 9 folios.

Maker(s)
Calligrapher: Abdallah ibn al-Fadl
Author: Pedanius Dioscorides (died 90 CE)
Historical period(s)
Abbasid period, 1224 (621 A.H.)
Medium
Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W: 24.6 x 33.1 cm (9 11/16 x 13 1/16 in)
Geography
Iraq, Probably Baghdad
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
F1932.20
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Manuscript
Type

Detached manuscript folio

Keywords
Abbasid period (750 - 1258), De Materia Medica, Iraq, medicine, naskh script
Provenance

Fredrik Robert Martin (1868-1933) [1]

To 1932
H. Sevadjian, Paris to 1932 [2]

From 1932
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from H. Sevadjian, Paris in 1932 through K. Minassian [3]

Notes:

[1] Object file, undated folder sheet note. See also Martin, F.R. The Miniature Painting and Painters of Persia, India and Turkey, London, 1912; vol. I.

[2] Object file, undated folder sheet note. See also Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List file, Collections Management Office.

[3] See note 2.

Previous Owner(s)

H. Sevadjian
Fredrik Robert Martin 1868 - 1933

Description

Detached folio from an Arabic translation of De materia medica by Pedanius Dioscorides; text: Arabic in black and red naskh script; recto: text, one column, 13 lines; verso: illustration and text, Two physicians preparing medicine, one column, 7 lines; one of a group of 9 folios.

Label

One of the earliest extant, illustrated texts from the Islamic world is the Arabic translation of the Materia Medica. It was compiled by the Greek physician Dioscorides, a soldier in the Roman army who studied the flora of Asia Minor while in service. Divided into five sections, the text describes the medicinal uses of some five hundred plants, and it became the foundation for pharmacology in the Near East and later in medieval Europe.

Arabic copies of the Materia Medica are particularly noteworthy for their illustrations. In the absence of detailed physical descriptions of the plants, artists added their own pictorial interpretations. This image, originally part of a thirteenth-century copy of the text, depicts a physician and his attendant in an abstracted interior with contemporary furnishings and props. The composition relates to a passage about the preparation of an antidote for the sting of a venomous spider.

Published References
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Art of the Arab World. Exh. cat. Washington, 1975. cat. 25, p. 60.
  • Annette Hagedorn. Islamic Art. Germany. p. 12.
  • Sir Thomas W. Arnold. Painting in Islam: A Study of the Place of Pictoral Art in Muslim Culture. Oxford. p. 80.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Islamic Art in the Freer Gallery. vol. 3, no. 3, Autumn 1985. pp. 57-58, fig. 1.
  • Eva Baer. Metalwork in Medieval Islamic Art. Albany. fig. 2.
  • Lawrence Binyon, J.V.S. Wilkinson, Basil Gray. Persian Miniature Painting: A Descriptive Catalogue of the Miniatures Exhibited at Burlington House, January-March 1931. Exh. cat. Oxford, January - March 1931. p. 27, pl. 14a.
  • Dietrich Brandenburg. Islamic Miniature Painting in Medical Manuscripts., 2nd edition. Basel. p. 67.
  • H. Buchtal. Early Islamic Miniatures from Baghdad. vol. 5 Baltimore. pp. 16-31, fig. 31.
  • Florence E. Day. Mesopotamian Manuscripts of Dioscorides. vol. 8, no. 9 New York, May 1950. p. 279.
  • Henry Corbin, Paul Pelliot, Eustache de Lorey. Les Arts de l'Iran, l'ancienne Perse, et Bagdad. Paris. p. 107 ff.
  • Ernst Diez. Die Kunst der Islamischen Volker. Handbuch der Kunstwissenschaft Berlin. p. 171, fig. 221.
  • M.S. Dimand. Dated Specimens of Mohammedan Art: part II. vol. 1, no. 2 New York, May 1929. pp. 208-209, fig. 1.
  • Volkmar Enderlein. Islamische Kunst. Dresden. fig. 115.
  • Basil Gray. Persian Miniatures. vol. 9, no. 3 London, February 1935. pp. 58, 88-91.
  • Kurt Holter. Die Islamischen Miniaturhandschriften vor 1350. Leipzig. pp. 11-12.
  • David James. Arab Painting, 368 A.H./969 A.D.-567 A.H/1171 A.D. Bombay, June 1976. pp. 11-50, fig. 6.
  • Ernst Kuhnel. Islamische Kleinkunst: ein Handbuch fur Sammler and Liebhaber. Bibliothek fur Kunst, 2nd ed. Braunschweig, Germany. opp. p. 40, pl. 2.
  • Ivan Stchoukine. La Peinture Iranienne sous les Derniers Abbasides et les Ilkhans. Bruges. p. 67.
  • Eustache de Lorey. La Peinture Musulmane: L'Ecole de Bagdad. Paris. p. 9, fig. 11.
  • Albert S. Lyons R. Joseph Petrucelli II. Medicine: An Ilustrated History. New York. p. 305.
  • Georges Marteau Henri Vever. Miniatures Persanes: tirees des collections de M.M. Henry d'Allemagne, Claude Anet, Henri Aubrey... 2 vols., Paris, June-October 1912. pls. 1, 38.
  • F. R. Martin. The Miniature Painting and Painters of Persia, India, and Turkey from the 8th to the 18th Century. 2 vols., London. pl. 7a.
  • Max Meyerhof. Ciba Symposia. vol. 6, nos. 5-6 Summit, N.J., August/September 1944. p. 1861.
  • Richard Ettinghausen Ernst Kuhnel. A Survey of Persian Art from Prehistoric Times to the Present. 6 vols., London and New York, 1938 - 1939. vol. 3, pp. 1970, 2484.
  • Friedrich Paul Theodor Sarre F. R. Martin. Die Ausstellung von Meisterwerken Muhammedanischer Kunst in Muchen, 1910. 3 vols., Munich. pls. 4, 5.
  • Philipp Walter Schulz. Die Persisch-Islamische Miniaturmalerei: Ein Beitrag zur Kunstgeschichte Irans. 2 vols, Leipzig. pp. 64, 159, 199, pl. 5.
  • Ivan Stchoukine. Un Manuscript du Traite d'al-Jazari, sur les Automates du VII siecle de l'Hegire. vol. 6, no. 11 Paris, March 1934. p. 140.
  • Howard Turner. Science in Medieval Islam: An Illustrated Introduction., 1st ed. Austin, 1995-1997. p. 150.
  • La medecine au temps des califes a l'ombre d'Avicenne: Exposition presentee du 18 novembre 1996 au 2 mars 1997. Exh. cat. Paris, November 18, 1996 - March 2, 1997. p. 46.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum

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