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Shodo Arabi – the way of Arabic writing

nside the Arabic Islamic Institute in Tokyo, 15 students of calligraphy raptly practice writing verses from the Qur’an. Yet when the call to prayer is heard, few stir. The instructors and students are…

Chinese Art

From Middle East to Middle Kingdom

In contrast, the appreciation of Chinese–Islamic works has been negligible. For collectors of traditional Chinese art, these works are not Chinese enough; for Islamic-art collectors, they seem too alien to be considered truly…

Ta'liq_Script

Traditional Calligraphy & Modern Art

This paper discusses the traditional art of calligraphy in the contemporary cultural context, with particular reference to recent efforts on the one hand to “modernize Islamic calligraphy” and on the other hand to…

Tile with Arabic inscription, Iran, about 1215. Museum no. 1481-1876

Calligraphy in Islamic art – beyond pen and paper

The development of sophisticated calligraphy as an art form is not unique to Islamic culture. Other examples include Chinese and Japanese calligraphy and illuminated bibles from north-west Europe including the famous Book of…

Sadequain

Sadequain and Calligraphic Modernism

This article examines the career of the immensely productive Sadequain Naqqash (1930-87), Pakistan’s most celebrated art­is

Page from a Manuscript of the Quran (78:20-30)

LACMA Collection of Islamic Calligraphy

Calligraphic Artwork at LACMA. Click on any image for more details. 

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Styles of Calligraphy

From the book – ‘Calligraphy and Islamic Culture’. Come, O pen of composition and write letters. In the name of the Writer of the Well-preserved Tablet and the Pen!1 Thus begins a sixteenth-century…

Khusrau Hunting: Page from a manuscript of the Khusrau and Shirin of Hatifi, dated 1498; Ottoman Turkey (probably Istanbul).

Art of the Ottomans (before 1600)

At the time of its foundation in the early fourteenth century, the Osmanli or Ottoman state was one among many small principalities that emerged as a result of the disintegration of the Seljuq sultanate…

Page from an Album of Calligraphies of Prophetic Traditions (Hadith), ca. 1500; Ottoman Signed by Hamdullah ibn Mustafa Dede Turkey (Istanbul)

Arts of the book – 1600-1800

The technical aspects of calligraphy, painting, and bookbinding are important facets of the study of Islamic art. Treatises by sixteenth-century Persian authors Qazi Ahmed and Sadiqi Beq are the major sources on the…

Mughal Art after 1600

After the death of Akbar, architect of the Mughal empire and active patron of the arts, his son Jahangir (r. 1605–27) ascended to the throne. As a prince, Jahangir had established his own…

Marriage certificate of the last Mughal ruler, Bahadur Shah II (r. 1837-57) to Zinat Mahal Begam, on 18 November 1840. Details In this kabin-nama, marriage contract, bridegroom agreed to pay a kabin (jointure or settlement) of 1,500,000 current rupees, of which one-third is to be paid immediately and two-thirds at any time during their married life, and that the marriage took place in the presence of two free, adult and righteous witnesses.

Marriage Certificate of the Last Mughal Emperor of India

  mughal emperors with names mughal emperors ancient egyptian marriage ancient egyptian marriage contract

4b

From the Pen of a Master

Calligraphy is the supreme art form of the Islamic world; even the other Islamic arts – architecture, metal work, ceramics, glass and textiles – draw on calligraphy as their principal source of embellishment. This…

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