Medieval illuminated manuscripts are some of the most dazzling treasures of the digital age, even though that may sound paradoxical. Since the 3rd century, when they began to be produced, until the end of the 16th century when the tradition was lost, writers and artists were one and the same, and a book was not simply a book but a carefully produced piece that housed years and years of work. Obviously it is very difficult for us to leaf through them (and without damaging them) without the generosity of digital libraries. This is a small collection of love poems of a kind called tarjī`band, written by the poet Nūr al-Dīn ‘Abd al-Raḥmān Jāmī, also known simply as Jāmī.

Jāmī (1414-92) was born in the city of Jam in what is today Afghanistan and is often called the last great poet of Persia, a saint and a mystic. He composed, among other things, numerous lyrical poems and allegories of profane and sacred love, and of such good quality that he was rewarded with the independent manufacture of this illuminated book.

The poems in this book were copied by Iranian calligrapher Muḥammad Zamān al-Tabrīzī on orange tinted paper. The blue borders are drawn and illuminated from start to finish. In this link you can see the entire manuscript, which is only 28 pages long but each one of which is more beautiful than the one preceding it. And this video shows a reproduction of how medieval texts were illuminated, and with how much care and love:

 

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Medieval illuminated manuscripts are some of the most dazzling treasures of the digital age, even though that may sound paradoxical. Since the 3rd century, when they began to be produced, until the end of the 16th century when the tradition was lost, writers and artists were one and the same, and a book was not simply a book but a carefully produced piece that housed years and years of work. Obviously it is very difficult for us to leaf through them (and without damaging them) without the generosity of digital libraries. This is a small collection of love poems of a kind called tarjī`band, written by the poet Nūr al-Dīn ‘Abd al-Raḥmān Jāmī, also known simply as Jāmī.

Jāmī (1414-92) was born in the city of Jam in what is today Afghanistan and is often called the last great poet of Persia, a saint and a mystic. He composed, among other things, numerous lyrical poems and allegories of profane and sacred love, and of such good quality that he was rewarded with the independent manufacture of this illuminated book.

The poems in this book were copied by Iranian calligrapher Muḥammad Zamān al-Tabrīzī on orange tinted paper. The blue borders are drawn and illuminated from start to finish. In this link you can see the entire manuscript, which is only 28 pages long but each one of which is more beautiful than the one preceding it. And this video shows a reproduction of how medieval texts were illuminated, and with how much care and love:

 

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