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Ink and Gold: Islamic Calligraphy

Ink and Gold: Islamic Calligraphy


Given the status of the Qur‘an as the eternal and uncreated word of Allah, the art of the pen became the focus of an extra­ordinary energy in the Muslim world. Ink and Gold charts the development of Islamic calligraphy – the noblest, most stylized and original of the Islamic arts – over a period of some 1200 years, from its beginnings in the Arabian Peninsula. 


Text and illustrations cover all the major centres of Islamic calligraphy, from North Africa to Central Asia, highlighting the achievements of Islamic calligraphers in the ages of the ‘Abbasid (749–1258), Seljuk (1055–1243), Ilkhanid (1256–1357), Safavid (1502–1736) and Mughal Empires (1526–1857). Though pride of place is given to the Qur‘an, the catalogue also includes examples of royal decrees, calligraphic albums and Persian poetry, showing the huge diversity of calligraphic traditions in the Islamic world.

  • By Marcus Fraser and Will Kwiatkowski

    144 pages, paperback

    300 x 240 mm, 150 illustrations

    ISBN: 978 0 954901 48 6

  • Exhibition

    Originally published in 2006 to accompany an exhibition at the Museum für Islamische Kunst, Berlin, this popular and beautiful book has now been reprinted.

  • About the authors

    Marcus Fraser is an independent Islamic art consultant and specialist in Islamic ­calligraphy.


    Will Kwiatkowski, who has degrees in Arabic, Persian and Turkish, is the Islamic art ­specialist at Sam Fogg Ltd.

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