"Men Treading Grapes", 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
11.87 in. high 9.12 in. wide (30.1 cm high 23.2 cm wide)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Anonymous Gift, 1956
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 454
Illustrations in early Islamic manuscripts produced by the Baghdad School were greatly influenced by Greek and Byzantine prototypes; the text often included the translation of Greek scientific manuscripts, such as De Materia Medica, accompanied by detailed genre scenes. On this folio, the medicinal properties of sour wine are described with an illustration showing two men treading grapes.
Inscription: Definition: Arabic
Translation: Book V, 12 - "Wine from sour grapes"- lines 1-4: ...the wine is binding, and it is comforting to the stomach, beneficial, and it is comforting to the stomach, beneficial to whoever feels pain with digestion of the stomach, and for a loose stomach, and for a woman with unnatural appetite, and for whoever has colic which quivers in it. And it is said that it is useful in the sickness which shakes; that is a stomach complaint. And this wine must be aged many years, for if this is not done, it is not fit to be drunk. Book V, 13 -"The wine which is called the second [Deuteria]- lines 5-7: And it is also called The Drink (Potimon) also called tarjamra. It is made according to this description: There is taken a mass of pressed grapes, of the amount from which 30 jars has been pressed out, and pour onto it...jars [no number, should be 3 jars] of water. Then it is trampled under foot, and pressed, and boiled until 2/3 has gone off, and 1/3 remains. Then it is thrown into...[end of page].
Notes: This Arabic translation is from the Greek text of Sprengel (it does not follow the Greek text of Max Wellman) and goes with the English translation edited by Gunther. The Arabic of the verso begins in the middle of Book V, 12 (in Sprengel), whose title is "Wine from sour grapes", and this occupies lines 1-4. Line 5, with a red title, begins another recipe, Book V, 13: "The second wine (Deuteria)" and this is also incomplete. The Arabic is not an absolutely literal translation; in one or two places there is an extra phrase or definition.

Marking: See additional card.
F. R. Martin, Stockholm (by 1910–at least 1912); V. Everit Macy, New York (in 1922); [ Adrienne Minassian, New York, until 1956; 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, not in catalogue.

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. volume 2, p. 7, ill. pl. 5b (b/w).

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, pl. 5b.

Musée des Arts Décoratifs. Miniatures Persanes. Vol. vols. 1-2. Paris, 1913. ill. pl. 1, XXXVIII, 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, 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.

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

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. fig. 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. 3rd rev. and enl. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1958. p. 354, ill. fig. 217.

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

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