Folio from Aja’ib al-makhluqat (Wonders of Creation) by al-Qazvini; recto: Constellations of the Southern Hemisphere: Cetus (Qitus), Orion (al-Jabbar); verso: Eridanus (al-Nahr), Lepus (al-Arnab), Canis Major (al-Kalib al-Akbar)


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 sea monster): 9 × 12.8 cm (3 9/16 × 5 1/16 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, Canis Major, Cetus, constellation, Eridanus, Iraq, Lepus, naskh script, Orion, star, 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


Cetus and Orion are among the 15 constellations attributed to the southern hemisphere by al-Qazvini. Cetus, "The Whale," has 22 stars in its constellation and resembles an animal facing east. Orion, also known as Gemini, is composed of 38 stars and looks like a man who holds a stick in his hand and has a sword suspended from his waist.

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

Copyright with museum

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