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  • daniel bermúdez

    The "Ajaib al-makhluqat wa Gharaib al-mawjudat," or "Wonders of Creation and Oddities of Existence," was written by al-Qazvini (1202-1283), the qadi (judge) of Wasit and Hilla during the reign of the last Abbasid caliph, al-Mustusim (r. 1241-58). The manuscript is divided into two parts that explore heavenly and terretrial phenomena. This folio depicts Ursa Major, or the Big Dipper, and Draco, the dragon, two of the twenty-one constellations in the northern hemisphere.

  • Freer|Sackler

    This folio depicts Ursa Major, or the Big Dipper, and Draco, the dragon, two of the twenty-one constellations in the northern hemisphere. | Folio from Aja'ib al-makhluqat (Wonders of Creation) by al-Qazvini; recto: Constellation al-Dubb al-Akbar or Ursa Major (Greater Bear or Big Dipper), Draco(al-Tinnin); verso: Cepheus (Qifa'us), Bootes (al-'Awwa') | early 15th century | Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper | Iraq or Eastern Turkey | Purchase | Freer Gallery of Art | F1954.39

  • Theodor Frast

    Stellar Constellations from an Arabic Manuscript

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Zhangzhou ware jar with dragon design late 16th-early 17th century | Ming dynasty | Porcelain with cobalt pigment under clear, colorless glaze | China | Gift of Charles Lang Freer | Freer Gallery of Art | F1906.18

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Seated Kannon and dragon | second half 19th century | Edo period or Meiji era | Stoneware with enamels over clear, colorless glaze | Japan | Gift of Charles Lang Freer | Freer Gallery of Art | F1901.16

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In East Asia, the dragon is associated with water and rain, and is also one of the twelve animals of the zodiac. | Dragon and Waves | ca. 1827-31 | Utagawa Kuniyoshi (Japanese, 1797-1861) Edo period | Woodblock print; ink and color on paper | Japan | The Anne van Biema Collection | Arthur M. Sackler Gallery | S2004.3.149

Dragon and kneeling figure; China, Western Zhou dynasty, ca. 11th century BCE; jade (nephrite); Gift of Arthur M. Sackler, S1987.860

Jean Bourdichon, Saint Lifard with a dragon, Grandes Heures d'Anne de Bretagne (1503-1508)

Folio from a Aja'ib al-makhluqat (Wonders of Creation) by al-Qazvini early 15th century. Possibly Baghdad, Iraq or Eastern Turkey