Medieval Imagination, Mixed-Media Prints

Medieval Imagination, Mixed-Media Prints

above: Galileo’s Moon, detail

Medieval Imagination, Mixed-Media Prints, 2014-2020

Medieval and early modern scientific manuscripts were composed of hand-drawn images, diagrams, and geometrical shapes as well as textual and mathematical explanations. Each page of these manuscripts often separated images and texts through both structured compositions and random layouts. Inspired by images, colors, content, and compositions of medieval scientific manuscripts, I create mixed-media prints using silkscreen and monotype techniques. In these mixed-media prints, I mix and match Persian, Arab and European scientific images or diagrams- from those manuscripts that I research-to construct historical knowledge of various points of view into one form and to tell a visual story using familiar scenes.

Botanical Prints: In my botanical prints, I present medieval medicinal plants in compositions to impart the idea of a garden. The main visual elements (animals, plants, and stars) in my garden prints are from two prominent manuscripts; The Herbal, a 12th-century Arabic medicinal botanical manuscript from Andalusia, and Sidereus Nuncius, the Galileo’s 17th-century treatise.  Inspired by the above manuscripts’ images, I digitally draw the botanical and animal silhouettes first and then prepare them for the printing processes.

Astronomy and Cartography Prints: In my map and astronomy prints, I use watercolor to paint textural images, referencing earth or celestial bodies. I then silkscreen the astronomy and mathematical diagrams over the painted backgrounds. This layering process is my way of preserving these early works of astronomy and maps when scientists did not have access to tools to observe and record the earth or sky. The prints’ colors and layouts are reminiscent of those manuscripts pages.

Anatomy Prints: The prints use images from a unique, prominent 14th c. manuscript, Tashrīḥ-i Badan-i Insān or Mansur’s Anatomy. The book is written by the Persian physician Mansur Ibn Illyas from Shiraz during the Timurid dynasty. This publication is the first colored atlas of the human body in Iran. My mixed-media prints also use the medicinal plants, which used to heal the body, layered around the Persian anatomy images.

Medicinal Botanical Mixed-Media Prints


Sky Garden iii, 2020, silkscreen and ink on paper, 20×55


Sky Garden vi, 2020, silkscreen and watercolor on paper, 11″ x 30″


Sky Garden v, 2020, silkscreen and watercolor on paper, 11″ x 30″


Asparagus Forest, 2019, ink and silkscreen on paper, 30” x 44”


White Garden, 2019, ink and silkscreen on paper, 27” x 42”


Flora and Fauna i,2020, silkscreen and ink on paper, 30″ x 22″


Flora and Fauna ii, 2020, silkscreen and ink on paper, 30″ x 22″


Faunas in Sky Garden i, 2020, silkscreen, monotype and dry pigment on paper


Faunas in Sky Garden ii, 2020, silkscreen, monotype and dry pigment on paper


Faunas in Sky Garden iii, 2020, silkscreen, monotype and dry pigment on paper


Celestial Garden iii, 2020, monotype, silkscreen and collage on paper, 30” x 22”


Celestial Garden ii, 2020, monotype, silkscreen and collage on paper, 30” x 22”

Astronomy Mixed-Media Prints


The Man on the Moon i, 2018, ink and silkscreen on paper, 36”x 24”

The Man on the Moon features the first precisely drawn human (anatomy), standing on the first drawn images of the Moon. I combined the images of Galileo’s first observation of the Moon through his telescope (from his Sidereus Nuncius manuscript) with mathematical diagrams of the cosmos from various eras. The figure is from Andreas Vesalius’ de humani corporis fabrica manuscript. Vesalius was the 16th c. anatomist and physician, known as the founder of modern human anatomy.

The Man on the Moon ii, 2018, ink and silkscreen on paper, 36”x 24”

Galileo’s Moon, 2016, silkscreen and watercolor on paper, 18″ x 14″
Images: A page from Galileo’s manuscript on astronomy, 16th C. and De Sphaera Mundi (on the Sphere of the World) by Johanned de Sacrobosco, 13th c.

The Return of Geocentrism i, 2015, watercolor and silkscreen on paper, 16”x 21”
A Tribute to Bartolomeu Velho’s 16th c. Figura dos Corpos Celestes, Illustration of Ptolemy’s Geocentrism

The Return of Geocentrism ii, 2015, watercolor and silkscreen on paper, 12.5”x 15.5”

Anatomy Mixed-Media Prints


Medieval Body i, 2018, ink and silkscreen on paper, 30” x 22”

Medieval Body ii, 2018, ink and silkscreen on paper, 30” x 22”

Medieval Body iii, 2018, ink and silkscreen on paper, 30” x 22”

Cartography Mixed-Media prints

Water, Earth, Air, Wood, 2014, watercolor, ink and silkscreen on folded paper, 31.5”x 29.5”
A Tribute to al-Qazwini’s 13th c. World Map, Wonders of Creation manuscript (16th c. edition)

Globule
Globule, 2014, watercolor, ink and silkscreen on folded paper, 30”x 22”
A Tribute to al-Qazwini’s 13th c. World Map, Wonders of Creation manuscript (16th c. edition)

The Realm of Earth i, 2014, watercolor and silkscreen on paper, 11”x 30”
A Tribute to al-Qazwini’s 13th c. World Map, Wonders of Creation manuscript (16th c. edition)

The Realm of Earth ii, 2014, watercolor and silkscreen on paper, 11”x 30”
A Tribute to al-Qazwini’s 13th c. World Map, Wonders of Creation manuscript (16th c. edition)