"Physician Preparing an Elixir", Folio from a Materia Medica of Dioscorides, Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper

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

Object Name:
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
dated A.H. 621/ A.D. 1224
Attributed to Iraq or Northern Jazira, possibly Baghdad
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Page: H. 13 1/16 in. (33.2 cm)
W. 9 3/4 in. (24.8 cm)
Mat size: H. 19 1/4 in. (48.9 cm)
W. 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm)

Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1913
Accession Number:
Not on view
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.
Inscription: Definition: Arabic. There are two translations:

Translation of text by R. D. Messaiah: Preparation of medicine (wine) for colds or coughs: ease the throat by taking 1/4 oke of bitter root, 1/8 oke of licorice root, 1/4 or 1/8 oke of white pepper. Pulverize them together and put the resulting powder into a cloth, tie it up, and immerse it in sweet wine for three days. Strain the liquor into a clean vessel. Drink after dinner.
Notes: 1 oke, a measure of weight equaling about 2-3/4 lbs., measure of capacity, equals about 2/3 of a quart.

Translation of text by F. D. Day, 1950: The making of a drink (shirab) for catarrhs, coughs, swelling of the belly, and loosening of the stomach. Take myrrh 1/4 uqiyya, roots of susan 1/8 uqiyya, white pepper 1/4 and (...) 1/8 uqiyya. Pound them together, tie it up in a rag, put into 3 qusts of good wine, and let stand three days. Then strain and put into a clean vessel. Drink after supper.

Marking: See additional card.
F. R. Martin, Stockholm (by 1910–at least 1912); [ G.J. Demotte, Paris, until 1913; sold to MMA]
Theresienhöhe. "Meisterwerke Muhammedanisher Kunst," 1910, no. 583.

Museum für Islamische Kunst, Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. "The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the M.M.A.," June 15, 1981–August 8, 1981, no. 19.

Mexico City. Colegio de San Ildefonso. "Arte islamico del Museo Metropolitano de Arte de Nueva York," September 30, 1994–January 8, 1995, no. 11.

Paris. Institut du Monde Arabe. "The Golden Age of Islamic Sciences," October 25, 2005–March 19, 2006, no. 110.

Washington. National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. "Old Herbs," May 2007–August 2007, no catalogue.

Anet, Claude. "Exhibition of Persian Miniatures at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris." Burlington Magazine vol. 22 (1912). pp. 15-16, ill. pl. I, A (b/w).

Martin, F. R. The Miniature Painting and Painters of Persia, India and Turkey from the 8th to the 18th century. vol. 1. London: Bernard Quaritch, 1912. no. vol. II, p. 7, ill. pl. 5b.

Sarre, Friedrich Dr, and F. R. Martin. "Die Stoffe, die Waffen, Holz und Elfenbein." In Die Ausstellung von Meisterwerken Muhammedanischer Kunst in Munchen 1910. Munich: F. Bruckmann A.-G., 1912. no. 583, volume 1, ill. pl. 5b, (ill. 57.51.21).

Sarre, F., H. R. Martin, and Moriz Dreger. Meisterwerke muhammedanischer Kunst auf der Ausstellung München, 1910: Teppiche, Waffen, Miniaturen, Buchkunst, Keramik, Glas und Kristall, Stein- Holz-und Elfenbeinarbeiten, Stoffe, Metall, Verschiedenes. Munich: Bruckmann, 1912. no. 582.

Musée des Arts Décoratifs. Miniatures Persanes. Vol. vols. 1-2. Paris, 1913. ill. pl. 1, XXVIII, Illustrated another leaf from this manuscript, dated here 1222, entitled "Le chien enrage", in Mutiaux collection (same leaf illustration in Anet reference), pl. XXXVIII (ill. another leaf, in Sambon collection (same leaf illustrated in Rosenberg collecti.

Ricci, Seymour. Catalogue d'une Collection de Miniatures Gothiques et Persanes appartenant à Léonce Rosenberg. Paris: Montassier et Odend'hal, 1913. pp. 36-37, ill. pl. XVIII.

Kühnel, Ernst. Miniaturmalerei im Islamischen Orient. Berlin, 1922. ill. pl. 5.

Gluck, Heinrich, and Ernst Diez. Die Kunst des Islam. Propylaen Kunstgeschichte, vol. 5. Berlin: Propylaen-Verlag, 1925. pp. 95, 502.

Dimand, Maurice S. "A loan of Near Eastern Miniature Paintings." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 22 (1927). p. 127.

Dimand, Maurice S., ed. "Dated Specimens of Mohammedan Art in the Metropolitan Museum of Art." MMA Studies 1, pt.2 (1929). p. 208, ill. fig. 1.

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Mohammedan Decorative Arts. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1930. p. 19, ill. fig. 1 (b/w).

Stchoukine, Ivan. La Peinture Iranienne sous les derniers 'Abbasides et les Il-Khans. Bruges, 1936. no. II, Description of this manuscript.

Holter, Kurt. "Die Islamischen Miniaturhandschriften for 1350." Zentralblatt fur Blibliothekswesen vol. 54 (1937). no. 27, p. 11.

Buchthal, Hugo, Otto Kurz, and Richard Ettinghausen. "Supplementary Notes to K. Holter's checklist of Islamic Ill. Mss. before 1350." Ars Islamica vol. 7 (1940). no. 27, pp. 151-152.

Buchthal, Hugo. "Journal of the Walters Art Gallery, vol V, 1942." Early Islamic Miniatures from Baghdad V (1942). no. 9, 10, 15, pp.19-39, 20, ill. figs. 12, 13, 17, Leaves from MS now in Top Kapu Saray, Istanbul, which has colophon giving name of copyist and date Rajab AH 621. No. 9, fig. 12 illustrates 56.20; no. 10, fig. 13 illustrates 57.51.21; no. 15, fig. 17 illustrates 13.152.6.

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 2nd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. p. 26, ill. fig. 13 (b/w).

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. 3rd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1958. pp. 25-26, ill. figs. 13.

Dimand, Maurice S. "New Accessions of Islamic Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 16 (April 1958). pp. 228-229, ill.

"Austellung 27 Mai bis 5 Aug., 1962." In Kunstschatze aus Iran. 1962. no. 556, ill. pl. 82.

Dimand, Maurice S. A Handbook of Muhammadan Art. Publications, 36.. Lahore: The Panjabi Adabi Academy, 1964. p. 26, ill. fig. 13 (b/w).

Swietochowski, Marie, and Richard Ettinghausen. "Islamic Painting." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., vol. 36, no. 2 (Autumn 1978). p. 5, ill. p. 5 (b/w).

"Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York." In The Arts of Islam. Berlin, 1981. no. 19, pp. 68-69, ill. p. 69 (b/w).

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. 11, pp. 66-67, ill. p. 67 (color).

L'Age d'Or des Sciences Arabes. Paris: Institut du Monde Arabe, 2005. no. 110, p. 183, ill. fig. 110 (color).

Saliba, George, and Linda Komaroff. "Illustrated Books May be Hazardous to your Health." Ars Orientalis vol. 35 (2005). p. 28, ill. fig. 7 (b/w).

Casagrande-Kim, Roberta, ed. "Islamic Transformations of the Classical Past." In Romance and Reason. Princeton and Oxford: The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University, New York, 2018. no. 47, pp. 74, 133, ill. fig. 4-9.