The Book of Felicity

The Book of Felicity f. 30v, The Image of Pisces

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f. 30v, The Image of Pisces

Contrary to the most common western iconography that always shows two fish, in Arabic tradition the sign of Pisces is a single large fish. Here it is represented rather naturalistically as a sort of oversize trout or pike, its mouth slightly open in what seems to be a puzzled expression caused by the figure of Jupiter sitting on its curved back. Unlike in the case of Sagittarius, the planetary lord is in direct physical contact with the sign but has the same distant expression of a person of authority that characterizes this planet (see ff. 32v-33r). Jupiter sits cross-legged, his coat slightly open to reveal the gold-embroidered, red tunic underneath. A white scarf with red patterns falls across his left shoulder and knee and floats behind his back. A large Ottoman turban is wrapped around his bearded head.
 
Saturn with a pick, Jupiter again identical to but smaller than the planetary lord above and Mars with a mace are the three planets that influence the decades of the month of Pisces.

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

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