The Opening


This calligraphic panel includes the bismillah (In the name of God) at the top, followed by the Qurʼan's first surah (chapter), al-Fatihah (The opening). The surah introduces the Qurʼan by praising God and asking for his guidance to the right path. On the last line, the Fatihah panel is signed by a certain 'Aliriza and dated A.H. 1241 (A.D. 1825). The entire specimen is calligraphed in dark brown naskh (cursive) script on a beige paper, which is framed by a series of alternating gold and dark blue frames and pasted on a thick cardboard backing. 'Aliriza may be the 19th-century Persian calligrapher 'Aliriza b. Hajji Muhammad Ja'far, who executed a calligraphic work dated 1258 (1842) that is now in the National Library of Iran. 'Aliriza's work shows a revival of interest in the naskh script during the modern period and appears indebted to the work of his predecessor, the famous 18th-century Persian calligrapher Ahmad Nayrizi. Nayrizi was the last great calligrapher of Iran to master the naskh script at a time when preference was given to the ta'liq and nasta'liq scripts.

Last updated: April 27, 2016