Mohammed Image Archive

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Book Illustrations


Many popular American and European books about Islam have included lithographs and line drawings depicting Mohammed. Several examples are presented below. The second half of this page features illustrations from late 20th-century comic-book biographies of Mohammed.



Frontispiece from The Life of Mahomet, by A. du Ryer (published by J. & B. Sprint, 1719).


Portrait of Mohammed from Michel Baudier's Histoire générale de la religion des turcs (Paris, 1625). It was sold at auction by Sotheby's in 2002. The same image was incorporated into the cover of issue #2195 of the French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur.
(Hat tip: Kilgore Trout, and Raafat.)


This illustration is taken from La vie de Mahomet, by M. Prideaux, published in 1699. It shows Mohammed holding a sword and a crescent while trampling on a globe, a cross, and the Ten Commandments.
(Hat tip: Andy B.)


This color drawing of Mohammed in anachronistic 17th- or 18th-century garb comes from the 1719 German edition of the book Description de l'Univers, by Alain Manesson Mallet, which was first published in Paris in 1683 and later reprinted several times until 1719. The caption at the top says "Der falshe Profhet Mahomet": The False Prophet Mohammed.
(Hat tip: F. P.)


This almost identical depiction of Mohammed comes from an earlier edition of Description de l'Univers; the color scheme and a few small details are slightly different in this version.


Death of Mahomet; photograph of a page in the book The History of the Arabs, Including the Life of Mohammed, by William Mavor (published in New York in 1804).
(Hat tip: little old lady.)


This illustration, taken from the German book Mahomets und Türcken Grewel published in Frankfurt in 1664, depicts Mohammed in the bottom panel being tormented by demons. The book is "An account of the wars between Austria and Turkey in the 1660's, prefaced by an account of Islam." It was sold at auction by Sotheby's in 2002.
(Hat tip: Kilgore Trout.)

The About.com guide to agnosticism and atheism features a series of public-domain line drawings of Mohammed, eight of which are reproductions of Victorian-era book illustrations. They are presented below. <br> <small><i>(Hat tip: Martin.)</small></i>


Mohammed preaching to early converts.


Mohammed riding a camel, mostly likely during his flight to Medina in 622 A.D., an event known as the Hijra or Hegira.


Mohammed arriving at the walls of Medina.


This drawing is titled "Muhammad Riding into Medina," but it's more likely that it depicts his triumphant return into Mecca.


This drawing has the caption "Muhammad Leads Muslims in a Massacre," but it's unclear how definitive that attribution is. If the artist did indeed intend to draw Mohammed, then the scene was entirely an imaginary one, as the costumes and other details are historically inaccurate. Alternately, it's possible that the picture was misidentified, and shows a massacre of Christians by some later Muslim ruler.


This intriguing Christian rendition of a faceless Mohammed riding Buraq into Paradise has Victorian-style angels surrounding him, in place of the traditional Biblical/Islamic angels. The artist obviously was referring to medieval Islamic depictions of Mohammed, but mistook the sacred flames surrounding his head (such as can be seen here, for example) as some kind of hat.


Mohammed preaching Islam to his followers.


A portrait of Mohammed, which is very similar to the image below.


This portrait of Mohammed, taken from a Cuban Web site, appears to be a different version of the previous image.


Portrait of Mohammed from the frontispiece of Washington Irving's Mahomet and His Successors (Putnam and Son, 1869).


The book Der Harem des Propheten by Johann George Mausinger features this image among many others, mostly showing Mohammed in belittling or humiliating situations (here he is seen sitting on a monk's lap). The drawings are by Polish artist Maius Haban. If you have a copy of this book or know of a site featuring other examples of its illustrations, please send us the images.
(Hat tip: Martin.)

The following five images are of line drawings depicting Mohammed from various 19th-century books about Islam:


(Hat tip for this image and the image below: Faithfreedom.org.)










The May 17, 1977 edition of the Nouveau Tintin French-language comic book featured an extensive overview of Mohammed's life and the origins of Islam, including many cartoons showing Mohammed himself. As shown on this France-Echos site as well as the Coranix site, the early part of Mohammed's life was depicted in small, respectful miniatures accompanied by text, whereas the later militaristic period in Mohammed's story was drawn in the flamboyant swashbuckling comic-book style by illustrator Jacques Fromont. All the Nouveau Tintin drawings which depict Mohammed are reproduced below.
(Hat tip: Matthias S.)


Mohammed being born.


Mohammed as a child (in blue) at a marketplace in Mecca.


Mohammed as a young man traveling with a caravan.


Mohammed seeing his first vision of the Angel Gabriel.


Mohammed (on the left) preaching to his first converts.


Mohammed (in red) praying.


The last few years of Mohammed's life are shown in much greater detail. On this page, Mohammed is the one with the red turban and red cape at the upper right, and wearing the red cape and pointed helmet in the final panel.


Mohammed is the one with the red turban getting wounded by an arrow, and then recuperating.


In the bottom row, Mohammed is wearing a red tunic and then riding a horse into battle.


Mohammed on his death bed in the final panel.


This Arabic site about Islam features a series of illustrations apparently taken from an Islamic children's book about the life of Mohammed.
(Hat tip: Raafat.)

In some of the illustrations Mohammed is shown from the back, so that his face is not visible, but in others his face seems to be shown; in a few drawings it is not clear which character is Mohammed at all.



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Other Archive Sections:
Islamic Depictions of Mohammed in Full
Islamic Depictions of Mohammed with Face Hidden
European Medieval and Renaissance Images
Miscellaneous Mohammed Images
Dante's Inferno
Book Illustrations
Book Covers
Satirical Modern Cartoons
The Jyllands-Posten Cartoons
Recent Responses to the Controversy
Extreme Mohammed
Email Responses from Readers
Links