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Manuscripts

Folio with Calligraphy and Ornamented Border

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Folio with Calligraphy and Ornamented Border
17th Century A.D.

Language: Arabic Script: Naskh
Materials: Paper
Dimensions: L: 37 W: 25 cm.
Acc. No. 55.53/1

Representation of the divine image being prohibited, the Islamic artists sought in fine artistic calligraphy expression of their creative talent with the result that in a huge body of texts pictures, or the desire to paint pictures, were seen transforming into letters or legends. Finer the calligraphy more artistic was considered the book. A folio from some unknown text it renders this four-line calligraphy, two, a larger size, and other two, smaller, perhaps a couplet or two of some Arabic verse. The specified space is contained within a golden frame carved out of a background consisting of floral arabesques rendered in light tints.

The term 'calligraphy' refers to art of writing to range from functional inscriptions to stylized hand writing/lettering done on various types of art objects. Though images were not completely excluded, calligraphy in Arabic script was considered one of the most valued aspects of the Mughal period manuscripts. Various sizes and shapes of letters used in calligraphy provided new dimensions to the art of ornamenting a folio.

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