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Collections | Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Two Rams image

Two Mountain Rams Fighting
Abu Sa'd' Ubayd-Allah ibn Ibrahim, known as Ibn Bakhtishu
Manafi al-Hayawan (The Benefits of Animals), in Persian
Persia, Maragha, dated 1294, 1297, or 1299
355 x 280 mm
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1912; MS M.500 (fol. 37)
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This book, ranked among the ten greatest Persian manuscripts, dates from the reign of Ghazan Khan (1295–1304), the Mongol ruler who ordered the Persian translation. The Mongol invasion, culminating in the conquest of Baghdad, influenced the development of Islamic painting. The Mongols brought a new, naturalist Chinese style to Persian art, which is reflected here. The text discusses the nature and medicinal properties of man, animals, birds, reptiles, fish, and insects. The illustration pictures two mountain rams fighting on a fanciful Chinese-style bridge composed of colored rocks, with oriental-style gold clouds in the sky.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.