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Calligraphers of the Persian Tradition
The Library of Congress has a collection of more than 100 single-page calligraphic sheets containing poetic excerpts in Persian. These sheets appear to have been extracted from albums (muraqqa’at) of calligraphies and paintings, fragments of which are maintained in other libraries and art collections such as the Sackler Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Unlike the Qur’anic fragments, these sheets do not cover an...
Ottoman Calligraphers and Their Works
Ottoman calligraphers mastered certain kinds of designs that came to characterize the Ottoman school of calligraphy from the 16th century onward.i They also practiced naskh and nasta’liq scripts and, like their Persian counterparts, transcribed the Qur’an, produced single sheets of calligraphic exercises (karalama),ii and compiled albums of calligraphies. Some of their favored calligraphic formats included single panels (levhalar) containing a description (hilya or hilye)...
Islamic calligraphy owes much to the earliest developments of the Arabic language. It is largely due to the increasing production of Qur’ans that a series of notable stylistic evolutions occurred in order to facilitate proper reading and recitation of scripture. With the official recension of the Qur’an completed during the reign of the third caliph ’Uthman (r. 644-56), the written circulation of the Holy...
Some fragments in the Library of Congress, i.e., single-folio items with calligraphic compositions, illumination, or paintings, are neither Qur’anic nor do they contain the names of known Persian or Turkish calligraphers. For these reasons, as well as the fact that these fragments are often of exquisite beauty, they are discussed separately here.