An accessible introduction to the quintessential art form of the Islamic world
How to Read Islamic Calligraphy explores the preeminence of the written word as a means of creative expression throughout the Islamic world. Aimed at a general audience, the book introduces all five major Islamic calligraphic script types, demonstrates their distinctive visual characteristics, and explains the various contexts in which each one came to be used, whether for transcribing the Qur’an, composing poetry, or issuing written edicts from the sultan’s court. Numerous examples illustrate how the transmission of these styles and techniques from master to pupil was fundamental to the flourishing of Islamic calligraphy, and handwriting models from as early as the 10th century continue to inspire students of calligraphy today.
Superbly illustrated, the works discussed include manuscripts, glass, metalware, and ceramic tiles. This accessible and engaging book traces the progression of calligraphic styles over centuries and across geographical regions, affirming the spectacular range of creative possibilities afforded by this unique art form.
Maryam Ekhtiar is associate curator in the Department of Islamic Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
156 pages, 8 x 10 1/2
141 color illus.