Jahangir’s Turkey: Early Modern Globalization and Exotic Animals

The above image is one of my favorite examples of the bizarre cross-pollinations that early modern globalization brought about. It is a detail from a lavish watercolor painting created in 1618 by Bichitr for the Mughal emperor Jahangir (1569-1627). Here we find the strange juxtaposition of James I and VI of England and Scotland (1566-1625) […]

Pseudo-Kufic: Renaissance Imitations of Arabic Script

Kufic script is a lovely and ancient variant of the Arabic alphabet that developed out of the Nabatean alphabet of Classical-era Petra. This example from a c. 8th century Koran highlights the characteristic angular style of the script, which made it uniquely well-suited for use in stone inscriptions, pottery and in rugs and other woven […]