Qur'an Manuscript Folio (Recto); Illuminated Page


The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland, United States

The Qur'an is the sacred book of Islam. In the view of orthodox Muslims, it is the literal word of God as revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (d. 632) in the Arabic language, and thus, recorded in the Arabic script. Because of its association with the divine word, Arabic calligraphy came to be a supreme art form in the Islamic world. As the quintessential symbol of the culture, it became a pervasive decorative element in Islamic art and architecture. Although secondary to calligraphy, a tradition of illumination—that is, ornamentation with colors and gold—developed to enhance the pages of the Qur'an. Because of the prestige associated with the book arts in the Islamic world, the decorative motifs employed by illuminators (scrolling vines, blossoms, lozenges, and cartouches) found their way into other art forms, for example, metalwork, textiles, and carpets.

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  • Title: Qur'an Manuscript Folio (Recto); Illuminated Page
  • Date Created: 1500s
  • Physical Dimensions: Sheet: 49 x 36.3 cm (19 5/16 x 14 5/16 in.)
  • Provenance: (Hagop Kevorkian [1872–1962], New York, NY, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art), The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Type: Manuscript
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1924.746.1.a
  • Medium: ink, gold, and colors on paper
  • Inscriptions: Translation: Surah I: 1-7: In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Praise belongs to God, the Lord of all Being, the All merciful, the All-compassionate, the Master of the Day of Doom Thee only do we serve; to Thee alone do we pray for succour. Guide us in the straight path, the path of those whom Thou has blessed, not of those against whom Thou art wrathful, nor of those who are astray. Left folio (Surah II, 1-4) In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Alif Lam Mim That is the book, wherein is no doubt, a guidance to the godfearing who believe in the Unseen, and perform the prayer, and expend of that We have provided them; who believe in what has been sent down to thee and that had been sent down before thee, and have faith in the Hereafter; those are upon guidance from their Lord, those are the ones who prosper.
  • Department: Islamic Art
  • Culture: Afghanistan, Herat, Safavid period (1501–1722)
  • Credit Line: Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund
  • Collection: Islamic Art
  • Accession Number: 1924.746.1.a

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