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Opaque watercolor and ink on paper
Image: 14.7 x 22.7 cm (5 13/16 x 8 15/16 in.); Overall: 42 x 32 cm (16 9/16 x 12 5/8 in.); Text area: 34.5 x 22.7 cm (13 9/16 x 8 15/16 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1945.384.b
This illustrated page from a history book depicts a scene from the narrative of Adam and Eve, expanding on the story as it is recorded in the Qur'an. According to the text, among Eve’s many children were two sets of twins: Cain and his sister Iqlima, and Abel and his sister Labuda. When Cain objected to Adam’s decision that Iqlima should marry Abel, Adam decreed that the brothers should settle the matter by making sacrificial offerings. A divine fire in the form of a bird appeared and chose Abel’s offering of a good lamb over Cain’s offering of bad wheat. Cain then vowed to kill Abel, and proceeded to commit fratricide.
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