What is it about?

L'Alcorano published by Arrivabene in 1547 has been considered a servile copy of Theodor Bibliander's edition since the sixteenth century, but this conception has changed radically due to a recent publication (Tommasino, 2013). Starting off from this publication, this essay aims to delve further into L'Alcorano suggesting that the book was an innovative product, not only because of its literary sources and translation, but also due to the presence of meaningful iconographical details in its capital letters. At the same time, an analysis of the cornice istoriata reveals its images as the very first visual representation of Muhammad's life. The paper also puts forward a hypothesis about the book's creation, considering it a joint venture involving several bookmen: Arrivabene, Comin da Trino, Bernardino Bindoni, and Bertolomeo detto Imperatore. The final section deals with the influence and material history of the book and its iconography during the centuries following its publication.

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Why is it important?

An analysis of the cornice istoriata of this early modern book reveals its images as the very first visual representation of Muhammad's life.

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This page is a summary of: L’Alcorano of Andrea Arrivabene, Church History and Religious Culture, January 2016, Brill, DOI: 10.1163/18712428-09601008.
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