Illustration from Book of Wonders, Persian illuminated manuscript by Unknown

We have always referred to this manuscript (St Andrews ms32(o)) as the ‘book of wonders’... it is lavishly and confusingly illustrated, packed with mysterious monsters and people doing strange things, but as it is written in Persian we could never be certain what it was all about.

...The manuscript is actually incomplete parts of 2 works, bound together, the first being an abbreviated section of Haiyat al-Haiyawan حَياة الْحَيوان الكُبرى or Lives of the Animals, by Muhammad Ibn Musa Kamal Ad-din Al-Damiri (1341-1405). It is a compilation of works by many authors on the 931 animals mentioned in the Qur’an, including folklore, proverbs, lawfulness of hunting and eating, medical uses and meaning of names...

...Although the manuscript is in Persian, it was created and illustrated in India, probably in the 18th c. – it bears no date or names of the copyist or artist.... its wonderful drawings and paintings repay detailed study. (
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Period / movement: illustration