Who knew the Morgan Library had a  collection of wonderful Islamic miniatures, calligraphy and manuscripts?  

by Ibn Bakhtishuç (d. 1058) from Manafic-i hayavan (The Benefits of Animals). Persia, between 1297 and 1300.

Don’t you just love the way the calligraphy expresses in abstract forms the clash of the rams’ horns?  And how this adds energy to the pretty naturalistic depiction below?  The Mongols by this time had charged south and infused Persian art triggering a fertile period of cultural exchange during which artists adopted some of the naturalism in Chinese painting — as well as some of their not so natural but quite expressive renderings of clouds and rocks (as in the companion painting from the same manuscript depicting two gazelles).

And then, for something completely different, there is the horse and rider whose emaciated bodies meld with the marbled background.

folio from the so-called “Read Persian Album,” made in the Deccan, India, in the first half of the 17th century.

Treasures of Islamic Manuscript Painting from the Morgan is on show through January 29th.

2 thoughts on “

  1. This is all splendid! Only could you put a “subscribe” widget somewhere so I know when you post again? I don’t want to miss anything. Really. XXXX

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