Yahya ibn Mahmud al-Wasiti

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A 13th-century book illustration produced in Baghdad by al-Wasiti showing a slave-market in the town of Zabid in Yemen.

Yahya ibn Mahmud al-Wasiti (Arabic: يحيى بن محمود الواسطي‎) was a 13th-century Iraqi-Arab[1][2][3] painter and calligrapher, noted for his illustrations of al-Hairi's Maqamat.

Biography[edit]

Al-Wasiti was probably born in Wasit واسط south of Baghdad.[4] In 1236-37 he transcribed and illustrated a copy of al-Hairi's Maqamat typically shortened to Maqamat, and also known as the Assemblies,[5] a series of anecdotes of social satire written by Al-Hariri of Basra. Al-Wasiti's illustrations, which are among the finest examples of a style used in the 13th-century, served as an inspiration for the modern Baghdad art movement in the 20th-century.[6]

Very little is known about his life.[7]

Illustrations from Maqamat[edit]

In total, Maqmat has 96 illustrations, all by al-Wasiti. They are of "outstanding quality with fine composition, expressive figures, and vivid but controlled colours" and provide readers with "fascinating series of glimpses into and commentaries on 13th-century Islāmic life." [8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Makiya, Kanan (1991). The Monument: Art, Vulgarity, and Responsibility in Iraq. University of California Press. ISBN 9780520073760. 
  2. ^ Ankori, Gannit (2013). Palestinian Art. Reaktion Books. ISBN 9781780232416. 
  3. ^ Explorers: Tales of Endurance and Exploration. Penguin. 2010. ISBN 9780756675110. 
  4. ^ Jonathan Bloom and Sheila S. Blair (eds), Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art & Architecture, Oxford University Press, 2009, p.210; Kember, P. (ed.), Benezit Dictionary of Asian Artists, Oxford University Press, 2012, ISBN 9780199923014
  5. ^ Jonathan Bloom and Sheila S. Blair (eds), Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art & Architecture, Oxford University Press, 2009, p.294
  6. ^ Wijdan, A. (ed.), Contemporary Art From The Islamic World, p.166
  7. ^ "Yaḥyā ibn Maḥmūd al-Wāsiṭī," in: Encyclopædia Britannica, Online:
  8. ^ "Yaḥyā ibn Maḥmūd al-Wāsiṭī," in: Encyclopædia Britannica, Online: