Traces of the Calligrapher: Islamic Calligraphy in Practice, c. 1600-1900

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Overview

In Islamic culture, calligraphy has long been considered a quintessential art form. This beautiful writing practice constitutes an expression of piety, and calligraphers are among the most highly esteemed artists. Traces of the Calligrapher portrays the intimate world of the calligrapher during the early modern period of Islamic culture. It brings together the “tools of the trade”—works in their own right that are rarely exhibited or published—and the exquisite art made with these functional objects in India, Iran, and Turkey.

This richly illustrated and fascinating book presents exceptional works of the 17th through 19th centuries, drawn primarily from an unrivaled private collection. It features pens, pen boxes, chests, tables, paper scissors, knives, burnishers, and book bindings of superb manufacture and design, accompanied by examples of calligraphy that were executed as practice exercise, occasional works, wall hangings, and manuscripts.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300126327
  • Publisher: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The
  • Publication date: 1/28/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 108
  • Sales rank: 1,478,270
  • Product dimensions: 11.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary McWilliams is the Norma Jean Calderwood Curator of Islamic and Later Indian Art at the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University. David J. Roxburgh is a professor in the Department of Art and Architecture at Harvard University and author of The Persian Album, 1400–1600 (Yale).

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Art at the Service of the Spiritual

    Mary McWilliams and David Roxburgh clearly explain to their readers how calligraphy and Islam interact with each other in their superbly illustrated catalogue. Most artifacts on display originally came from Iran and Turkey. Mastering the art of calligraphy is not just about learning how to masterfully write in the Arabic script in all its variety, but also about expressing his/her piety for the Divine. Ms. McWilliams and Mr. Roxburgh also allow their readers to visualize which tools the calligraphers used to produce these masterpieces reproduced in the catalogue under review. The aggrandized rendering of masterworks of Islamic calligraphy and related paraphernalia makes it possible for the audience to see more than what human eyes can see during the related exhibition that is currently held at the Carlos Museum of Emory University in Atlanta. In summary, whoever is open to beauty will enjoy going repeatedly through this catalog, regardless of his/her spiritual beliefs.

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