The Book of Felicity

The Book of Felicity f. 10v, The Image of Taurus

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f. 10v, The Image of Taurus

Like the ram, Taurus, the Bull, is a domesticated animal seen from the left in profile. Its left hind leg is drawn oddly outside the circle surrounding the sign and its right legs are slightly raised giving the bull a gentle walking posture. The hump on its back near the tail is hidden under a richly textured blanket. The animal has a complete caparison with a large neck tassel ending in what might be a white yak tail. Venus sits sidesaddle, the posture of female riders, on a low saddle on the bull’s back. This planet, invariably associated with music, is playing a tall oriental harp, the wooden parts of which are richly painted. Venus wears a long short-sleeved tunic and a red long-sleeved shirt. Her hairstyle with its high vertical chignon is particularly impressive.
 
The planets of the three decades are, respectively: Mercury, portrayed as a scribe sitting on the ground and resting a long scroll on his raised right knee; the Moon, a female figure seen frontally, her head surrounded by the crescent; and Mars holding a mace and wearing a tall hat as in the previous sign of Aries but in a different posture.

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

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