Special exhibition "Qazwini: World Pictures - Pictures of the World 750 Years Ago"

16 August - 27 October 2019

Encyclopedia of Qazwini: Personification of the Planet Sun, I. 9493 fol. 45 © Museum of Islamic Art, Photo: Martina Müller-Wiener

Dear friends of the Museum of Islamic Art,

We would like to cordially invite you to the exhibition opening "Qazwini: Weltbilder - Bilder der Welt 750 years ago" (16.08.-27.10.2019) in the Mschatta Hall in the Museum of Islamic Art.

Time: 15 August, admission from 17:30 pm, beginning 18:00 pm

Place: Mschatta Hall, Museum of Islamic Art

Registration is required. Registration for the exhibition opening begins in July and will be announced by invitation.

The world in 460 pictures. The handwriting of the "Wonders of Creation", which can be seen from 16 August to 27 October 2019 in the Book Art Cabinet of the Museum of Islamic Art, contains so many colorful illustrations. The selected leaves give a colorful insight into the accumulated knowledge of the world, which the scholar al-Qazwini compiled between 1260 and 1280. He describes the heavenly spheres with their inhabitants, planets and constellations, the four elements, animals, minerals and plants. The conclusion is formed by wondrous creatures of extraordinary shape and form. By introducing to his reader the diversity and wonder of divine creation, al-Qazwini invites him to reflect on the wonders of creation and to recognize the greatness of God.

A 750 year old bestseller

Despite its systematic order and its philosophical claim, the Qazwini Encyclopedia offers a richly illustrated reading pleasure. Entertaining stories and colorful illustrations ensure that the course remains varied and captivating. No wonder the "miracles of creation" became a bestseller during the lifetime of al-Qazwini. The Arabic version of the work was translated into Persian after a few decades, later followed by Turkish editions. That the success story lasted into the 19th century, shows the issued manuscript. It probably originated in northern India in the late 18th century.

First exhibition after extensive restoration

The manuscript was donated to the museum and was extensively restored in the museum's studios. The generous donation of the von Maltzahn family, in memory of Paul Freiherr von Maltzahn, made this work possible.

The exhibition presents a representative cross-section of manuscript leaves, combined with excerpts from the accompanying texts of the Qazwini. In addition, insights are provided for the restoration of the manuscript.



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