Kitab suwar al-kawakib al-thabita (Book of the Images of the Fixed Stars) of al-Sufi
`Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi (Iranian, Rey 903–986 Shiraz)
late 15th century
Ink and gold on paper; leather binding
H. 10 3/16 in. (25.8 cm)
W. 7 1/8 in. (18.1 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1913
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 453
This book, based on the Almagest of the Greek astronomer Ptolemy, concerns the forty‑eight constellations known as the Fixed Stars, which, according to the medieval conception of the universe, inhabited the eighth of the nine spheres surrounding the earth. The constellations each appear twice in mirror image, shown as observed from the earth and from the sky.
Inscription: صورة العقرب علی ما یری فی الکرة
Image of Scorpio as seen from earth
[ Léonce Rosenberg, Paris, until 1913; sold to MMA]
Mexico City. Colegio de San Ildefonso. "Arte islamico del Museo Metropolitano de Arte de Nueva York," September 30, 1994–January 8, 1995.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Following the Stars: Images of the Zodiac in Islamic Art," February 4, 1997–August 31, 1997.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Daniel S. Walker, Arturo Ponce Guadián, Sussan Babaie, Stefano Carboni, Aimee Froom, Marie Lukens Swietochowski, Tomoko Masuya, Annie Christine Daskalakis-Matthews, Abdallah Kahil, and Rochelle Kessler. "Colegio de San Ildefonso, Septiembre de 1994-Enero de 1995." In Arte Islámico del Museo Metropolitano de Arte de Nueva York. Mexico City: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 1994. no. 15, pp. 74-75, ill. p. 75 (b/w).
Carboni, Stefano. Following the Stars: The Zodiac in Islamic Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1997. no. 16, pp. 38-39, ill. (b/w).
Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 118, pp. 176-177, ill. p. 177 (color).
Ekhtiar, Maryam, and Claire Moore, ed. "A Resource for Educators." In Art of the Islamic World. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. pp. 98-99, ill. pl. 17 (color).