Name of Object:

Veterinary treatise Kitâb fî al-inâya bi al-khayli wa sâiri-d-awâbbi al-rukub


Rabat, Morocco

Holding Museum:

Royal Library

About Royal Library, Rabat.

Date of Object:

Hegira 1126 / AD 1714

Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Paper, brown and coloured inks.


Height 22 cm, width 16.5 cm

Period / Dynasty:

'Alawid; reign of Mulay Isma'il (r. AH 1082–1140 / AD 1672–1727)




This veterinary treatise on horse care consists of three volumes, each one divided into 30 chapters or bab, some of which are missing. The texts are written with brown ink in Maghrebi cursive characters and with irregular vocalisation, partial diacritic points and orthoepic marks in the same colour. Each page has 17 lines. Some of the words in the text and the titles are in red. The colophon at the end of the third volume provides the date of the manuscript without mentioning the copyist's name.
The significance of this manuscript lies in the nine miniatures, some of which are captioned, that illustrate the texts. Each depicts a horse, alone or with a carer, grazing, having its teeth checked, covering, being given medicine with a horn, swimming and having its mouth examined for an illness that prevents it from eating normally. Each miniature appears in a square space filling nearly the whole of the width of the page to the same height as the written area and sometimes framed with a triple red line. The people and the horses as well as their surroundings are depicted with great realism and detail. In the interior scenes, the figures stand out against a plain blue or green background and on a brick-red coloured floor. The miniatures with grazing horses have a background with a graduated sky, going from midnight blue with a hint of purple in the upper part to a pinkish white in the horizon.

View Short Description

This work is a veterinary treatise on horse care. The nine miniatures that illustrate the text are its most interesting aspect, each showing a horse on its own or held by a groom. All are drawn with noteworthy realism and attention to detail.

How date and origin were established:

Date mentioned on the last page colophon in volume three of the work, the beginning of Dhu 'l-Hijja 1126 / December 1714.

How Object was obtained:


How provenance was established:

From the origin of the copyist and the writing style.

Selected bibliography:

Al-Razi, J. and Varichon, A, 6000 ans d'art au Maroc , catalogue, Paris, 1990.
Arabi al-Khattabi, M., Al-Fahâris al-khizana al-Malakiyya, Rabat 1982, Vol. II.
Benjelloun-Laroui,L., Les bibliothèques au Maroc, Paris, 1990.
Dandel, E., Maroc, les trésors du Royaume, catalogue, Paris, 1999.

Citation of this web page:

Naima El Khatib-Boujibar "Veterinary treatise Kitâb fî al-inâya bi al-khayli wa sâiri-d-awâbbi al-rukub" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2022.;ISL;ma;Mus01_F;32;en

Prepared by: Naima El Khatib-BoujibarNaima El Khatib-Boujibar

Archéologue et historienne de l'art, titulaire d'une licence en lettres (française), N. Elkhatib-Boujibar a également étudié l'archéologie et l'histoire de l'art à l'Institut d'art et d'archéologie de Paris, l'art islamique et la muséologie à l'École du Louvre (Paris), et suivi des cours à l'Institut d'ethnographie de l'Université de Neuchâtel (Suisse). Elle a occupé plusieurs postes de responsabilité, parmi lesquels directrice des Musées et de l'Archéologie, inspectrice générale des Musées et de l'Archéologie, déléguée régionale du ministère de la Culture.
Elle a dirigé un chantier de fouille durant 20 ans et enseigné à l'Institut national marocain des sciences de l'archéologie et du patrimoine (INSAP). Elle a organisé différentes expositions sur le patrimoine marocain, au Maroc comme à l'étranger, et animé des cycles de conférence, dont celui sur l'art islamique à la “Villa des Arts” à Casablanca.
N. El Khatib-Boujibar a publié différents articles sur le patrimoine archéologique, artistique et architectural marocain, mais aussi sur d'autres sites islamiques et sur les arts mobiliers. Elle a également participé à la rédaction du catalogue Musée Sans Frontières Le Maroc andalou, à la rencontre d'un art de vivre.

Copyedited by: Margot Cortez
Translation by: Laurence Nunny
Translation copyedited by: Monica Allen

MWNF Working Number: MO 43


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