Folio from a Qur’an, Sura 1:5-7; Sura 2:1-4

Detached folio from a dispersed copy of the Qur’an; recto: left-hand half of a double-page composition separate from its facing folio (F 1929.73), Sura al-Fatiha (the Opener) 1:5-7, recto begins with “wa iyyak”, one column, 3 lines of text; verso: Sura al- Baqara (the Cow) 2: 1-3 and part of 4, verso begins with “bismillah”, one column, 5 lines of text; Arabic in black naskhi script; illuminated headings in “eastern kufic (New Style)” script; illuminated rosette verse markers; illuminated title band; marginal medallions; vocalized in black; one of a group of 2 folios.
Border: The text is set in gray rulings on cream-colored paper.

Historical period(s)
12th century
Medium
Ink, color, and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W: 17.4 x 15.4 cm (6 7/8 x 6 1/16 in)
Geography
Iran or Iraq
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1929.74
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Manuscript
Type

Manuscript folio

Keywords
eastern kufic script, illumination, Iran, Iraq, Islam, naskh script, Qur'an, sura 1, sura 2
Provenance

To 1929
Kirkor Minassian, New York to 1929 [1]

From 1929
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Kirkor Minassian, New York in 1929 [2]

Notes:

[1] Object file, undated folder sheet note.

[2] See note 1. Also see Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List file, Collections Management Office.

Previous Owner(s)

Kirkor Minassian 1874-1944

Description

Detached folio from a dispersed copy of the Qur'an; recto: left-hand half of a double-page composition separate from its facing folio (F 1929.73), Sura al-Fatiha (the Opener) 1:5-7, recto begins with "wa iyyak", one column, 3 lines of text; verso: Sura al- Baqara (the Cow) 2: 1-3 and part of 4, verso begins with "bismillah", one column, 5 lines of text; Arabic in black naskhi script; illuminated headings in "eastern kufic (New Style)" script; illuminated rosette verse markers; illuminated title band; marginal medallions; vocalized in black; one of a group of 2 folios.
Border: The text is set in gray rulings on cream-colored paper.

Label

Many distinctive forms of Arabic calligraphy were developed over time for the transcription of the Qur'an, the holy book of Islam. Some of these writing styles are associated with specific regions in the Islamic world. Calligraphers in the Maghrib (North Africa) and Spain favored thin, light letters with deep flourishes that curve below the line and create a rhythmic effect. In Iran, kufic script was transformed into a dynamic style, sometimes called eastern cubic, in which tall, upright letters contrast with short and sharply slanted ones, as seen in the gold headings of the double folio at the right. The text on these two leaves is written in naskh, a cursive script of balanced proportions frequently used to copy the Qur'an from the late ninth century until modern times.


The art of illumination also continued to evolve varied and original forms, as evidenced by the robust scrollwork in the lower panels of the Qur'an form Iran and the large medallion marking the tenth verse in the margin of the maghribi Qur'an.

Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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