Folio from Aja’ib al-Makhluqat (Wonders of Creation) by al-Qazvini; recto: Symbol of the Sun; verso: Diagram of the Eclipses of the Sun


Author: Muhammad al-Qazvini (ca. 1203-1283)
Historical period(s)
early 15th century
Opaque watercolor, ink, gold and silver on paper
H x W (recto figure painting): 11.3 × 10.7 cm (4 7/16 × 4 3/16 in)
Iraq or Eastern Turkey
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Detached manuscript folio

astronomy, eclipse, Iraq, naskh script, sun, Turkey, Wonders of Creation, WWII-era provenance

To 1945
Friedrich Paul Theodor Sarre (1865-1945). [1]

To 1954
Mme. Maria Louise Sarre, Ascona, Switzerland. [2]

From 1954
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Dr. Paul Kempner, New York on behalf of Mme. Maria Louise Sarre, Ascona, Switzerland. [3]


[1] Object file F1954.33-114, undated folder sheet note 2. “The manuscript was originally acquired by Prof. Friedrich Sarre in Algiers”.

[2] Object file F1954.33-114, undated folder sheet note 1. See also Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List after 1920 file, Collections Management Office.

[3] See note 2. See also invoice dated July 22, 1954 and correspondences between Dr. Paul Kempner and the Freer Gallery, dated July 21, 1954; copies in object file.

Previous Owner(s)

Mme. Maria Louise Sarre
Friedrich Paul Theodor Sarre


The sun is the fourth sphere of the heavenly regions and is the king of planets. Al-Qazvini believed that the sun played a major role in rain cycles and was instrumental in the creation of the four winds. According to Al-Qazvini 36,000 years are required for the sun to pass through all of the signs of the zodiac.

Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum

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