Folio from an Arabic translation of De materia medica by Dioscorides (ca. 40-90 C.E.); recto: The Greek physician Erasistratos with an assistant; verso: text

Detached folio from an Arabic translation De Materia Medica by Pedanius Dioscorides; text: Arabic in black naskh script; recto: illustration and text, The Greek physician Erasistratos with an assistant, one column, 7 lines; verso: text, one column, 13 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: 10.8 x 16.9 cm (4 1/4 x 6 5/8 in)
Geography
Iraq, Probably Baghdad
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1947.5
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Manuscript
Type

Manuscript folio

Keywords
Abbasid period (750 - 1258), De Materia Medica, Iraq, naskh script, physician, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Description

Detached folio from an Arabic translation De Materia Medica by Pedanius Dioscorides; text: Arabic in black naskh script; recto: illustration and text, The Greek physician Erasistratos with an assistant, one column, 7 lines; verso: text, one column, 13 lines; one of a group of 9 folios.

Label

The Arabic copies of the Materia Medica are notable for their lively, often narrative compositions, as is evident from this illustration. The accompanying text quotes a number of remedies prescribed by the celebrated Greek physician Erasistratos of Alexandria (ca. 276-194 B.C.E.). Rather than simply depicting the plants in question, the artist has portrayed Erasistratos reclining on a bed with an open book at his feet. He is accompanied by an assistant, and both figures appear in deep contemplation, implying a critical aspect of the art of healing.

Published References
  • Art Across the Ages. .
  • Philipp Walter Schulz. Die Persisch-Islamische Miniaturmalerei: Ein Beitrag zur Kunstgeschichte Irans. 2 vols, Leipzig. pl. 5a.
  • Fredrik Robert Martin. History of Oriental Carpets Before 1800. 3 vols., Vienna. fig. 15.
  • Ernst Kuhnel. Islamic Art and Architecture. London. pl. 35a.
  • Ernst Kuhnel. Miniaturmalerei im Islamischen Orient. Die Kunst des Ostens Berlin. pl. 5.
  • Heinrich Gluck, Ernst Diez. Die Kunst des Islam. Berlin. pl. 36.
  • unknown title. vol. 2 New York. fig. 12.
  • Ernst Diez. Die Kunst der Islamischen Volker. Handbuch der Kunstwissenschaft Berlin. fig. 252.
  • L'Age d'or des sciences arabes: Exposition présentée a l'Institut du monde arabe, Paris, 25 octobre 2005-19 mars 2006. Exh. cat. Arles and Paris. p. 16.
  • Amy Briggs. Timurid Carpets: I. Geometric Carpets. vol. 7, no. 1 Ann Arbor. p. 25, fig. 13.
  • H. Buchtal. Early Islamic Miniatures from Baghdad. vol. 5 Baltimore. cat. 26, p. 28, fig. 28.
  • Friedrich Paul Theodor Sarre, Mme. Maria Louise Sarre. Katalog der Austellung im Stadelschen Kunstinstitut. Frankfurt am Main. cat. 303, p. 39, pl. 4.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Art of the Arab World. Exh. cat. Washington, 1975. cat. 23, p. 58.
  • Dietrich Brandenburg. Islamic Miniature Painting in Medical Manuscripts., 2nd edition. Basel. p. 117.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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