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Incredible Examples of Leaf Calligraphy by the Ottoman Turks


Islamic Leaf Calligraphy

Arabic calligraphy is understood for its lovely, creative strains; however, in Ottoman Turkey, calligraphers actually took issues to a complete new stage. Over the course of 500 years, the Ottoman Turks perfected many alternative script kinds and elevated the artwork kind. Recently, Bayt Al Fann, an internet artwork platform celebrating Islamic artwork, referred to as consideration to a novel canvas used for such calligraphy—a dried leaf.

This Twitter thread shares 20 examples of this troublesome and delicate apply. The gold script pops towards the darkish, dried leaves. The spidery veins of the leaf improve the work, creating a fantastic texture and sample that contrasts with the swooping curves of the calligraphy.

Singapore’s Asian Civilisations Museum has a number of examples in its assortment and shares that leaf calligraphy was extensively practiced in Ottoman Turkey through the nineteenth century. Working with this pure materials was no simple feat, although. “The leaf has to be dried, and the tissue has to be removed slowly so as to leave the skeletal membrane,” shares the museum. “The stencil of the composition is placed behind the leaf and the gold ink with gum Arabic is applied over it.”

As is likely to be anticipated, verses from the Qur’an, poetry, and prayers had been common decisions for calligraphers. But what won’t be anticipated is the pleasant apply of becoming the script inside shapes that kind fruit, animals, and different inanimate objects. Looking at these items, it is unimaginable to not marvel at their intricacy. One can think about the painstaking work of the calligraphers, who would have wanted to maneuver with precision to create these strains on a fragile, uneven floor.

It’s a testomony to their artistry that so many examples nonetheless survive. To think about that for 100 years, or extra, these calligraphy leaves had been fastidiously preserved demonstrates the excessive worth given to this valuable type of artwork.

The Ottoman Turks are recognized for perfecting Arabic calligraphy.

Arabic Calligraphy from Ottoman Turkey on a Leaf

In the nineteenth century, it was fairly common to make use of dried leaves as a canvas for this sort of calligraphy.

Ottoman Arabic Leaf Calligraphy

Calligraphers usually used animals, fruit, and inanimate objects of their compositions.

Ottoman Turkish Leaf Calligraphy in the Shape of a LionIslamic Leaf CalligraphyArtistic Islamic Leaf Calligraphy

Qur’an verses, prayers, and poetry had been common themes for the calligraphers.

Artistic Islamic Leaf CalligraphyArabic Calligraphy on a Leaf in the Shape of a BirdArtistic Islamic Leaf Calligraphy

All photos through Bayt Al Fann/Twitter.

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