Folio from a Qur’an: Sura 21, verses 111-12; Sura 22: 1-2

Detached folio from a dispersed copy of the Qur’an; recto: Sura al-Anbiya’ (the Prophets) 21: part of 104, 105-110, one column, 13 lines of text; verso: Sura 21:111-112, illuminated sura divider with projection, Sura al-Haj (the Pilgrimage) 22:1-2, one column, 11 lines of text; Arabic in black kufic script set against a tinted green and blue background; vowels in red.

Historical period(s)
Abbasid period, 9th century
Medium
Ink, color and gold on parchment
Dimensions
H x W: 28.3 x 39.8 cm (11 1/8 x 15 11/16 in)
Geography
Probably North Africa
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1945.16
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Manuscript
Type

Manuscript folio

Keywords
Abbasid period (750 - 1258), illumination, Islam, kufic script, North Africa, Qur'an, sura 21, sura 22, WWII-era provenance
Provenance

To 1945
Mrs. Kirkor Minassian, New York. [1]

From 1945
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Mrs. Kirkor Minassian, New York. [2]

Notes:

[1] Curatorial Remark 1 in the object record.

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s)

Mrs. Kirkor Minassian

Description

Detached folio from a dispersed copy of the Qur'an; recto: Sura al-Anbiya' (the Prophets) 21: part of 104, 105-110, one column, 13 lines of text; verso: Sura 21:111-112, illuminated sura divider with projection, Sura al-Haj (the Pilgrimage) 22:1-2, one column, 11 lines of text; Arabic in black kufic script set against a tinted green and blue background; vowels in red.

Label

In the ninth century, Qur'ans began to be embellished with a series of ornamental devices, such as the colored band indicating the beginning of a new chapter (sura). Apart from serving as "markers" within the text, the colorful band enhances the beauty of the page.

Published References
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Art of the Arab World. Exh. cat. Washington, 1975. cat. 2, pp. 16-17.
  • Fu Shen, Glenn D. Lowry, Ann Yonemura, Thomas Lawton. From Concept to Context: Approaches to Asian and Islamic Calligraphy. Exh. cat. Washington. cat. 36, pp. 105, 107, 110-111.
  • Estelle Whelan. Writing the Word of God: Some Early Quran Manuscripts and their Milieux, Part 1. vol. 20 Washington and Ann Arbor. cat. nos. 33, 93, pp. 128, 134.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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