Bookmarking Book Art – The Walters Art Museum

Book on Navigation. Originally composed in 932 AH / 1525 CE and dedicated to Sultan Süleyman I (the Magnificent), this great work by Piri Reis (d. 962 AH / 1555 CE) on navigation was later revised and expanded. The present manuscript, made mostly in the late eleventh century AH / seventeenth CE, is based on the later expanded version and has some 240 exquisitely executed maps and portolan charts.

Book on Navigation. Originally composed in 932 AH / 1525 CE and dedicated to Sultan Süleyman I (the Magnificent), this great work by Piri Reis (d. 962 AH / 1555 CE) on navigation was later revised and expanded. The present manuscript, made mostly in the late eleventh century AH / seventeenth CE, is based on the later expanded version and has some 240 exquisitely executed maps and portolan charts.

Beautiful work. The image here is of the coastline of Italy from Rimini to Pesaro. The Museum’s overview of the manuscript, the additional views (below) provided to compensate for the limitations of the double-spread view, and the references concerning the curatorship are outstanding.

external-view-of-book-of-navigation external-view-of-book-of-navigation-2

Imagine the 17thc (CE) Italians’ consternation over this illuminated manuscript’s being in the possession of Sultan Süleyman I (the Magnificent). Lest you jump to the “Tempest”-uous Shakespearean conclusion that “What’s past is prologue”, recall that those words are Antonio’s encouragement to Sebastian to murder Sebastian’s sleeping father.

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