The Book of Felicity

The Book of Felicity f.22v, The Image of Scorpio


f.22v, The Image of Scorpio

Following the most common representation of Scorpio, there are two scorpions in the illustration even though the name of the sign is singular, something that probably has to do with astronomical images of the constellation. One of the two insects is grasped by its tail by Mars’s outstretched left hand, whereas the other floats in the sky in front of the planetary lord. Mars in this instance is dressed for combat: his tunic is reinforced by a coat of mail around the neck and shoulders; he wears metal forearm defenses and a helmet whose plates also protect the ears and the sides of the neck. He holds high in his right arm a long and slightly curved sword, the sheath of which hangs from his belt.
The lords of the three decades are Mars again, here a much younger man without a beard holding a mace; the Sun; and Venus playing the tambourine.

Stefano Carboni
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Curatorial Assistant in Islamic Art
 (Fragment of the Book of Felicity commentary volume)

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