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14,814 media by topicpage 1 of 149

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

This eighth- or ninth-century Qur'an was written in a script that is characterized by a rightward slant and by the shape of the vowel ya' in the terminal position, which turns backward to underline the letters ... more

Section from a Quran Manuscript

This double folio was once bound in a multivolume Qur'an manuscript. The calligrapher wrote in bold kufic script with black ink using a broad‑nibbed reed pen. Red and green dots indicate the vowels. Verse marke... more

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

This small-scale Qur'an was used as an intimate personal object, probably worn or carried as an amulet during travel. Despite its diminutive size, it shares many features with other early Qur'ans, which were of... more

Section from a Quran Manuscript

Like many early Qur’an folios, this example is written in parchment in black ink using a broad-nibbed reed pen. The emphatically elongated letters seen here are characteristic of early kufic Qur’ans on parchmen... more

Illustrated Single Work

Attributed to Egypt

Section from a Quran Manuscript

This is the second volume of a thirty-part Qur’an meant to be read over the course of a month. It is typical of early Qur’ans, but includes some embellishments not found in earlier, more austere copies, such as... more

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

Like many early Qur’an folios, this folio is written in parchment in black ink using a broad-nibbed reed pen. The horizontal, rounded letters seen here are characteristic of early kufic Qur’ans on parchment, an... more

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

Made in Eastern Islamic Lands

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

Attributed to Eastern Islamic lands

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

This folio, copied in floriated "new style" script, exhibits a striking balance of rigorous discipline and exuberant imagination. The fourth line of text is much larger than the rest and its vertical letters en... more

"Hare", Folio from the Mantiq al-wahsh (Speech of the Wild Animal) of Ka'b al-Ahbar

This page from a zoological manuscript contains lines of text and two drawings of wild animals, a lion (recto) and a hare (verso). Although fragmentary pages with drawings are not uncommon from the Fatimid peri... more

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

The manuscript to which this page once belonged, copied in floriated "new style" script, exhibits a striking balance of rigorous discipline and exuberant imagination. The calligrapher pushes the boundaries of t... more

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

This folio from a Qur’an is written on paper in black new style script, with vocalizations in red, diacritical marks in gold, and other orthographical signs in blue and black. The golden medallions are verse ma... more

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

Made in probably Egypt

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

This double-page from a Qur'an comes down to us with the fascinating information that the nursemaid to one of the Zirid rulers of North Africa commissioned it for donation to the Great Mosque of Qairawan. It is... more

Enthroned Four-armed Bodhisattva, Leaf from a dispersed Pancavimsatisahasrika Prajnaparamita Manuscript

Enthroned four-armed bodhisattva, possibly Amoghapasa, a form of Avalokitesvara, seated with legs crossed (sukhasana), hands raised in dharmacakra mudra, attended by a female devotee. Pala period

Wrathful Eight-armed and Three-faced Goddess Tara Marichi, Leaf from a dispersed Pancavimsatisahasrika Prajnaparamita Manuscript

Wrathful eight-armed and three-faced goddess Tara Marichi, an emanation from, and sakti of, Vairocana. Pala period

Buddha with His Hands Raised in Dharmacakra Mudra, Leaf from a dispersed Pancavimsatisahasrika Prajnaparamita Manuscript

Buddha with his hands raised in dharmacakra mudra, preaching first sermon at Sarnath, attended by two disciples. Pala period

Buddha Enthroned in a Shrine, Leaf from a dispersed Pancavimsatisahasrika Prajnaparamita Manuscript

Buddha enthroned in a shrine, with his hands raised in dharmacakra mudra, preaching. Pala period

Anthology of Persian Poetry (Safina)

Long, narrow books bound on the short edge are known as 'safina', a word meaning 'boat'. They were a popular form for collections of works by different poets. This 'safina', dated 1681 and 1685, contains poem... more

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

These two pages almost certainly come from a dispersed Qur'an dated A.H. 485/A.D. 1092 in "new style" script. This script was used mainly in the eastern Islamic lands after paper replaced parchment as writing m... more

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

This page almost certainly comes from a dispersed Qur'an dated A.H. 485/A.D. 1092 in "new style" script. This script was used mainly in the eastern Islamic lands after paper replaced parchment as writing materi... more

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

Made in Western Iran or Northern Iraq

One of a Pair of Jain Manuscript Covers (Patli)

This pair of covers appears to be contemporary with twelfth-century sets in the Jaisalmer Jain temple library in Rajasthan. The figures are rendered naively, shown frontally but with faces in three-quarter prof... more

Green Tara Dispensing Boons to Ecstatic Devotees: Folio from a Manuscript of the Ashtasahasrika Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom)

Tara, a bodhisattva of compassion and protection, is shown dispensing boons to the surrounding devotees, as indicated by her lower hand held in varada mudra. From the tips of her fingers she drips nectar into t... more

White Tara, Folio from a dispersed Ashtasahasrika Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom) Manuscript

Enshrined image of seated White Tara in a flame-emitting aureole, displaying a white lotus, with two female attendants, one holding a vajra; the other, Mahakali, holding a flaying knife and skullcup (kapala) Pala period

Green Tara, Folio from a dispersed Ashtasahasrika Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom) Manuscript

Enshrined image of Green Tara with pendant leg and displaying a blue lotus, with two female attendants, one holding a vajra; the other, Mahakali, holding a flaying knife and skullcup (kapala). Pala period

Bodhisattva Maitreya, Leaf from a dispersed Ashtasahasrika Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom) Manuscript

Enshrined image of Bodhisattva Maitreya, holding a lotus stem surmounted by a stupa, bestowing protection, attended by celestial female demigods Pala period

Shadakshari Lokesvara: Folio from a manuscript of the Ashtasahasrika Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom)

At center is Shadakshari Lokesvara, a four-armed form of the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. His primary hands are pressed together in the gesture of veneration (anjali mudra); his right hand holds a mala and his l... more

Kurukulla Dancing in Her Mountain Grotto: Folio from a Manuscript of the Ashtasahasrika Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom)

Emphasizing her role as destroyer of corruption, the goddess Kurukulla is surrounded by a halo of flame and dances on a corpse. Like so many of the aggressive deities that emerged in the esoteric tradition, Kur... more

Six-Armed Avalokiteshvara Expounding the Dharma: Folio from a Manuscript of the Ashtasahasrika Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom)

This depiction of Avalokiteshvara is part of a group of illuminations from a dispersed manuscript. This text was understood to contain the totality of Mahayana ideology in eight thousand verses. As the placemen... more

Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara Expounding the Dharma to a Devotee: Folio from a Ashtasahasrika Prajnaparamita Manuscript

The enthroned Avalokiteshvara, bodhisattva of compassion, who is crowned, bejeweled, and framed by two white lotus blooms, sits in a temple shrine setting with bhadra-style superstructure of the Pala style. His... more

Herdsman and his Flock

Although the five quadrupeds attended by this bearded herdsman are difficult to identify, they most closely resemble medieval Arab and Persian renderings of boars. This suggests that the scene represents a swin... more

Green Tara, Folio from a dispersed Ashtasahasrika Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom) Manuscript

Enshrined image of Green Tara, holding a blue lotus, making the gesture of granting boons, with two female attendants, one holding a vajra; the other, Mahakali, holding a flaying knife and skullcup (kapala). Pala period

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

Made in Western Iran or Northern Iraq

Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara Dispensing Boons: Folio from an Ashtasahasrika Prajnaparamita Manuscript

About the Artist Mahavihara Master Active in the early 12th century, in Bengal This master painter of the Pala-era Buddhist monastic tradition is known from one extant palm-leaf manuscript, now sh... more

Green Tara, Folio from a dispersed Ashtasahasrika Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom) Manuscript

Enshrined image of seated Green Tara with pendant leg and blue lotus, with two female attendants, one holding a vajra; the other, Mahakali, holding a flaying knife and skullcup (kapala) Pala period

One of a Pair of Jain Manuscript Covers (Patli)

This pair of covers appears to be contemporary with twelfth-century sets in the Jaisalmer Jain temple library in Rajasthan. The figures are rendered naively, shown frontally but with faces in three-quarter prof... more

Bodhisattva Maitreya, Folio from a dispersed Ashtasahasrika Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom) Manuscript

Enshrined image of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara in esoteric posture, being venerated by a female devotee and Mahakali Pala period

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

Eight folios of this dispersed Qur'an are held in the Museum collection. Among these folios is the colophon page, with the signature of the scribe Muhammad al‑Zanjani from the town of Zanjan, in northwestern Ir... more

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

Eight folios of this dispersed Qur'an are held in the Museum collection. Among these folios is the colophon page, with the signature of the scribe Muhammad al‑Zanjani from the town of Zanjan, in northwestern Ir... more

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

Eight folios of this dispersed Qur'an are held in the Museum collection. Among these folios is the colophon page, with the signature of the scribe Muhammad al‑Zanjani from the town of Zanjan, in northwestern Ir... more

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

Eight folios of this dispersed Qur'an are held in the Museum collection. Among these folios is the colophon page, with the signature of the scribe Muhammad al‑Zanjani from the town of Zanjan, in northwestern Ir... more

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

Eight folios of this dispersed Qur'an are held in the Museum collection. Among these folios is the colophon page, with the signature of the scribe Muhammad al‑Zanjani from the town of Zanjan, in northwestern Ir... more

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

Eight folios of this dispersed Qur'an are held in the Museum collection. Among these folios is the colophon page, with the signature of the scribe Muhammad al‑Zanjani from the town of Zanjan, in northwestern Ir... more

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

Eight folios of this dispersed Qur'an are held in the Museum collection. Among these folios is the colophon page, with the signature of the scribe Muhammad al‑Zanjani from the town of Zanjan, in northwestern Ir... more

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

Eight folios of this dispersed Qur'an are held in the Museum collection. Among these folios is the colophon page, with the signature of the scribe Muhammad al‑Zanjani from the town of Zanjan, in northwestern Ir... more

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

The Museum owns eight folios of this dispersed Qur'an. These include a colophon page with the signature of the scribe Muhammad al-Zanjani, from the town of Zanjan in northwestern Iran, and the date of completio... more

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

These folios from a dispersed Qur'an exemplify the transition during the Seljuq period from Qur'ans written in kufic script on parchment to those copied in the more rounded new-style writing on paper. By the la... more

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

Written in Eastern or new style kufic script , line two of this folio includes two long, vertical letters (alif and lam), forming a distinctive pointed oval-shaped pattern. The elaborate treatment of the backg... more

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

This folio from a dispersed Qur'an exemplifies the transition during the Seljuq period from Qur'ans written in kufic script on parchment to those copied in the more rounded new-style writing on paper. By the la... more

Section from a Quran Manuscript

Often Qur'ans were divided into thirty sections, each called juz'. This manuscript represents portions of the twenty‑ninth juz' of such a set. A colophon survives on another section, providing the date. The tex... more

Section from a Quran Manuscript

Attributed to Egypt or Syria

Section from a Quran Manuscript

The Qur'an consists of 114 chapters (suras) of uneven length. A system was therefore devised to divide the Qur'an into thirty equal parts, enabling a reading of generally uniform length each day of the month. ... more

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

Attributed to probably Iran

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

This large folio comes from a magnificent two-volume Qur'an. In Spain, as in North Africa, Qur'an manuscripts and Qur'anic calligraphy retained archaic features long since abandoned farther east. Such features ... more

Battle Scene

This scene depicts a battle in which the central figure appears to be the only one who has not lost a limb. Severed heads, arms, and legs and a man who has lost his hand are arranged across the composition. The... more

Figure of a Man

Attributed to Egypt or Iraq

Folio from the De Materia Medica of Dioscorides

Dioscorides, a physician in the Roman army, wrote a herbal in Greek in the first century A.D., discussing, as was traditional for the genre, the characteristics of each plant, its habitat, and its use. The natu... more

Munajat (Confidential Talks) of 'Ali ibn Abu-Talib

The munajat, or “confidential talks,” of the first Shiite Imam 'Ali b. Abi-Talib take the form of prayers to God. Along with the forty sayings of Imam 'Ali, akin to the hadith, or traditions of the Prophet Muha... more

"Preparing Medicine from Honey", from a Dispersed Manuscript of an Arabic Translation of De Materia Medica of Dioscorides

One of the most influential medical treatises handed down to Muslims was De Materia Medica, by a first-century b.c. Greek physician in Cilicia (southern Anatolia). The left page concerns making medicine from ho... more

"Physician Preparing an Elixir", Folio from a Materia Medica of Dioscorides

Figural book painting started in the Islamic world as an art form in the late Abbasid Iraq of the 13th century. The translation of a Greek manuscript shows a Physian preparing an elixir. Attributed to Iraq or N... more

"Men Treading Grapes", Folio from a Materia Medica of Dioscorides

Illustrations in early Islamic manuscripts produced by the Baghdad School were greatly influenced by Greek and Byzantine prototypes; the text often included the translation of Greek scientific manuscripts, such... more

"Pair of Serpents", Folio from a Manafi' al-Hayawan (On the Usefulness of Animals) of Ibn Bakhtishu'

This folio exemplifies the impact of Chinese art on Iranian painting as a result of the Mongol conquest. The lava-like rock at the right and the tree with its knotty bark and twisted form are adapted from Far E... more

"Oxen amongst Foliage", Folio from a Manafi' al-Hayawan (On the Usefulness of Animals) of Ibn Bakhtishu'

The manuscript from which this folio derives explains the habits and medicinal properties of the animals depicted within. The color scheme of this painting, together with the presence of a large lotus blossom ... more

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

While the style of illumination and use of muhaqqaq script point to a fourteenth century date for this Qur’an, the place where it was copied is uncertain. The size of the manuscript, the type of paper it is wr... more

Calligraphic Fragment

Attributed to Egypt

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

Attributed to Egypt or Syria

Section from a Quran Manuscript

As the second volume of a seven-part Qur'an manuscript, this codex contains no colophon, but it opens with an elaborately illuminated double page bearing intricate geometric strapwork closely comparable to desi... more

Folio from a Quran Manuscript

Made in probably Syria