Loading

Calligraphy in the shape of a hoopoe: bismillah ar-rahman ar-rahim (in the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)

Unknown17th century

Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

The bird is a striking example of the so-called “calligram”, figurative imagery artfully drawn from characters, which were very popular particularly in later Islamic calligraphy. Since this form of calligraphy was used especially in the field of Islamic mysticism, it tends to have a religious background. Thus, it is words such as Allah (God), Ali (the name of the fourth caliph worshipped especially by the Shiites), or the Islamic Bismillah phrase (the “basmala”), in particular, that are transformed by means of sweeping brush strokes into mosques, lions, swords or, as the basmala is here, into a bird. Calligrams such as these were particularly popular in private homes or shops, mounted on the walls. Even today numerous calligraphers specialize in calligrams.

Show lessRead more

Details

  • Title: Calligraphy in the shape of a hoopoe: bismillah ar-rahman ar-rahim (in the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 17th century
  • Location: Iran
  • Physical Dimensions: w187 x h171 cm
  • Type: Calligraphy
  • Medium: Paper, black ink, outlined in gold
  • Inv. no.: I. 4/82
  • ISIL no.: DE-MUS-814517
  • External link: Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Copyrights: Photo © bpk - Photo Agency / Museum für Islamische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin || Text © Museum für Islamische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Julia Gonnella
  • Collection: Museum für Islamische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Recommended

Translate with Google
Home
Explore
Nearby
Profile