Leaf from a Bible with decorated initial and vegetal ornament
Artist Unknown, Armenia
This page from a manuscript features two columns of text written in Armenian. An animal-shaped initial, composed of two stylized birds pecking one another, appears in the lower right column. The lower left margin is decorated with a sidebar that elegantly combines geometric and plant motifs. The decorative elements are painted in pink and blue with touches of reddish orange.
Two kneeling winged figures in niches on the first level of this design flank a tree growing at the top of a small doorway. These elements are contained within a larger structure with pilasters and a coifered ceiling. Above the ceiling are two winged figures holding small branches. Situated directly above the tree on the first level are a coat of arms surmounted by a crown and another, larger crown sits above the architecture.
Death of the Virgin (reverse copy after Schongauer)
A four-poster bed with curtains drawn back within an interior is angled towards the viewer, showing a woman reclined on the bed and attended by numerous figures. A lighted taper is placed in her hands, with assistance of a young man on the left side of the bed. Others of the figures stand or kneel with figures hands clasped in prayer; at the lower left corner are two men kneeling at the foot of the bead looking at a book of prayers. The overall effect is concern and movement around the still figure of the woman.
A series of architectural spaces unfold, each showing figures engaged in some activity. At right, the largest figure is shown seated looking upwards towards a light source. The same figure, somewhat smaller, walks from right to left towards a small architectural space at the left where the same figure lays a hand on the head of a kneeling woman. Other scenes continue into the distance.
This manuscript leaf contains a single column of text in Latin surrounded by generous margins on three sides. Pen-flourished initials elaborated with delicate penwork, colored red and blue alternating with gold and purple, mark the beginning of each verse along the left edge of the text column. Five line-fillers, long linear elements colored blue and gold, complete the closing line of each verse and preserve the regular shape of the text block.
Painting of a standing male figure facing forward and holding a walking stick, against a blank background surrounded by an inscription, two artist’s seals, seven colophons and accompanying seals of contemporary scholars and artists.
Loosely drawn figure studies principally seen from below and scattered across the sheet. Most of the figures are seated or stretching upwards away from the viewer. Drawing indicates a varied degree of finish; some figures seem to have been fairly carefully drawn with proper foreshortening of the figures while others are more summarily described.
Large image painted with bold blues, reds, greens and yellows. Illustrates seven figures; three on the left half and four on the right. Several of the figures are pinching some sort of food substance. The figures that are closest to the right and left edges of the image also are holding weapons.
Multi-colored ink on paper. Reds and golds make up the primary focus colors and are accented by dark blues. Features five figures, two larger figures on the top half of the page and three smaller figures on the bottom. Scene of worship.
Digambara Jain manuscript page: Jina venerated by a monk, raja, and warriors
Artist Unknown, India, Sirohi School
The image is divided in to two main halves.
The top half is divided in 3, and the bottom half divided in 6. All the divided spaces, except for the lower right corner contain a human figure. In the top half the two outer figures face inward toward the central figure who is seated on a panel slightly above them. The central figure is yellow, with out clothing, on a red background outlined with an olive green border. The figure to the left is cream colored without clothing on a pinkish background. While the figure to the right is clothed in red on a green background.
The figures in the lower half carry shields and various weapons. The dominate colors in each of the 6 sections rotates between green, blue, red and yellow.
Digambara Jain manuscript page: Jina and worshippers
Artist Unknown, India, Sirohi School
This image is divided in to 6 relatively equal portions, with the two most upper portions being slightly larger. Each section contains a human figure, except for the lower right section which contains 3 fish. The three figures on the left are featured profile facing towards the right. The two figures in the two lower sections on the right, mirror the left side and face profile to the left. The figure in the upper right corner faces out. This figure is yellow, without clothing, on a green background. This figure is also seated on a lotus blossom form above all the other figures. The figure to his left is also without clothing and is the only other figure to be seating not directly on the floor.
The dominate colors in this image rotate between orange, green, red and blue with yellow highlights.
Three main figures (two men and the camel they are riding) are brought to the foreground because of the contrast between their light colors against the stark green hill. The hill dominates the background leaving only a little bit of blue sky visible in the top corners. Underneath the main figures a secondary white dog and rabbit are also prominent.
Artist Unknown, African, Ethopian Orthodox Ethiopia
Long narrow strip of parchment with writing in red and black pigment; image at top shows a face with large eyes in a square with eight radiating triangles (Solomon's Seal); image at bottom shows a winged figure holding a sword (archangel). Rows of eyes border the images.
In the lower third of the hanging scroll are three figures. Tao Yuanming is the larger figure on the right with his two attendants on the left. They are divided by a table. In the background is a screen which separates the figures from the landscape.
Bilvamangala series: Krishna Venerated by People and Animals (fol. no. 8)
India, Rajasthan, Mewar School
Ink, watercolor and gold on paper. Central figure, Vishnu with devotees on his right and left. Male figures are located on the left side of Vishnu and the female figures on the right. The animals are depicted on the lower half of the portrait which goes with traditional hierarchical beliefs. The tiger is on the left and the elephant on the right.
A nude woman is seen in profile crouching and turning her head toward the viewer. She is backed up against a short pedestal or wal, on top of which a winged cupid bends towards the woman. On the right side is a slender tree, and behind the figures is an expansive landscape.
This manuscript page contains a column of Latin text surrounded by generous margins. A pair of slender flowers with small green leaves run the length of the text along the left margin. Three decorated initials appear on the left edge of the text block. Each initial is painted gold on a pink and blue ground with white scrollwork and enclosed within a frame. Two rectangular line-fillers, colored pink and blue with white scrollwork, appear in the right half of the text column.
This sober, pyramidal composition consists of five figures within an interior. A seated woman and child occupy the center of the composition while flanking her to the left is a kneeling older woman with her left hand on the child her right hand on the cradle. To the right of the seated woman is a putti holding a ewer and standing next to a basin. Standing behind the seated woman is a standing woman with hands raised. All of the women are dressed in generalized classical drapery.
Artist Life Dates
ca. 1475-before 1534
Object Creation Date
Medium and Support
engraving on medium-weight, slightly textured, off-white laid paper
Wooden box with a keyhole cut through center of piece encircled with copper-colored paint and two large copper screw-heads on golden-yellow background; the word “KEY” painted in white letters at bottom
Oriya manuscript (unidentified), folio: A Courtier Visits an Ascetic. (Images and text on both sides; pair with 1985/2.144)
In this scene, a young prince, seen at right in his bejeweled splendor, offers reverence to an ascetic. The sage, nearly naked and with matted hair, sits on an animal skin. His right hand is in the gesture of exposition, suggesting that he is preaching to his courtly audience.
Object Creation Date
Medium and Support
charcoal dust and washes of color on incised palm leaf