- Ottoman calligraphy
- Islamic calligraphy (3)
- Decoupage (2)
- Koran (1)
- Miniatures (Illuminations) (1)
- Prayers (1)
This découpage panel in the shape of a closed altar piece includes a central roundel decorated with interlacing letters whose stems form a central six-pointed star. The round inscription is difficult to decipher, and may comprise a wise saying or a verse from the Qur'an. In the middle of the upper arch, a round hook suggests that it was used as a wall hanging. The extractive technique of découpage is known in Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman Turkish as qit'a, or literally "cutting out," and artists specializing in this ...
Mihrab Découpage Panel
This piece of white paper has been carefully cut out to produce an elaborate image of interlacing vines and flowers. In the central panel, two columns border the right and left vertical frame and appear to hold an almost baroque arch in which hangs a lamp. This motif may be identified as a mihrab, or the prayer niche in the qibla wall of a mosque (i.e., the wall facing Mecca), illuminated by a hanging mosque lamp. Above the mihrab, a rectangular frame contains the words Allah, Muhammad (peace and ...
This ijazah, or diploma of competency in Arabic calligraphy, was written by 'Ali Ra'if Efendi in 1791 (1206 AH). The top and middle panels contain a saying (hadith) attributed to the Prophet Muhammad. It reads: "Secret charity quenches the wrath of the Lord. / The best of you is the best for his family. / The best of the followers is Uways." In the two lowermost panels are the signed and dated approvals of two master calligraphers, Mustafa al-Halimi and Husayn Hamid. Each section of writing appears on a separate piece ...
Prayer Book of Düzdidil
This luxuriously decorated prayer book was commissioned around 1844 for Düzdidil, the third lady in the harem of the Ottoman sultan, Abdülmecid I (reigned, 1839–61). The occasion for the commission was tragic: the 19-year-old woman had fallen victim to the epidemic of tuberculosis then raging in Istanbul. As was fitting for her position, the prayer book is lavishly ornate. It contains 33 surahs of the Qur’an, 80 prayers of request and praise, and 61 miniatures. The rococo style of the manuscript corresponds to contemporary Ottoman taste. An artist ...