In 2003, the Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow commissioned a facsimile reprint of the single issue of the early Russian modernist journal ‘Unovis’. This journal, organized by the Russian artist Kazimir Malevich and produced in 1920 by the staff and students of the Vitebsk Art School, is one of the principal forms of documentation of the art movement of the same name that flourished in Moscow from 1919 to 1922.
This facsimile edition also includes a book of essays on the movement and its makers (in Russian) and a reproduction of a full-color poster.
We have a new addition to the Fine Arts Library’s collection of facsimile editions of illuminated manuscripts. The facsimile in this case reproduces the Kitāb al-Manāfi‘ al-Ḥayawān (The Book on the Usefulness of Animals), a collection of texts classifying and describing the varieties of wild and domestic animals, compiled by the medieval Arab scholar Ibn al-Durayhim al-Mawṣilī (1312-1361) and illustrated during his lifetime with 91 miniatures, probably in Mamluk Syria.
The work is of great importance for the history of Islamic painting, since it is one of the few illustrated codices of the Mamluk period that can be securely dated and linked to a known author. The autograph manuscript is held by the Royal Library of the Monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial, near Madrid, Spain. No other copies are known.
This full facsimile edition of Ibn al-Durayhim’s Book on the Usefulness of Animals, accompanied by a scholarly translation of the text by Carmen Ruiz Bravo, was issued in 1990 by a small Spanish publisher that went out of business soon thereafter. As a result, few copies of this facsimile made their way into the collections of academic and research libraries. Only one copy is recorded outside of Spain, and until the Fine Arts Library acquired its copy none were held by institutions in North America.