Kufic Stone Inscription Culture, Script, and Graphics: The Aesthetic Art and Global Heritage of Early Kufic Calligraphy

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This reference book studies the script, art, and culture of the early
Arabic Kufic calligraphy. It presents around hundred historical stone
inscriptions, coins, and manuscripts from early-Islamic Persia. In their
book, the primary author and famed Iranian early Kufic expert and
calligrapher, S.M.V. Mousavi Jazayeri, and his fellow co-authors read
and analyze with meticulous detail the calligraphy, script, and art work
of thirty-seven Kufic gravestone inscriptions, mainly from the Yazd
providence of Iran. The carefully-selected inscriptional sample in this
book illustrates the remarkable power and versatility of this early
script, and the extent of the global role played by it in shaping
societies and cultures of a vast area extending from China to Spain.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Blautopf Publishing
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Published on
Oct 27, 2013
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Pages
254
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ISBN
9780984984329
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Art / Middle Eastern
History / Middle East / Iran
Language Arts & Disciplines / Alphabets & Writing Systems
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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The authors of this book have taken a rare opportunity to bring together the many factors crucial to an adequate understanding of architectural inscriptions, and they have done so in relation to those in an important but sadly under-published historic mosque. The grand mosque of Shoushtar contains many historic inscriptions installed over time for documentary purposes, but the four monumental Kufic texts are integral parts of its design and meaning. They are here studied calligraphically, hermeneutically and phenomenologically, and in relation to the structure of the mosque itself, the whole being set against an outline of Shoushtar’s history and the features of the mosque. Begun in the ninth century CE, the grand mosque of Shoushtar is one of the earliest hypostyle mosques in Iran. It was built in “the city of scholars” when its residents included two great Sufis, Sahl Ibn Abdullah Tostari and Mansur Hallaj. This scholarly, mystical emphasis is reflected in the mosque itself and it is tempting to wonder whether the eleventh Shiite Imam, Hassan al-Askari, under house arrest at the time of building, had anything to do with its design. This mosque is idiosyncratic and much modified and now presents a complex interpretational challenge. This book is an important and long overdue contribution to our knowledge of Shoushtar and the historic application of monumental Kufic inscriptions. Its high quality illustrations allow personal study of all four Kufic inscriptions of the city’s grand mosque: Surat Ya-Sin which was once encircling the entire prayer hall, the dedicatory inscription above the secondary internal mihrab, its fascia inscription containing the last two verses of Surat al-Isra’ whose content parallels the fourth inscription of Surat al-Ikhlas (al-Tawhid) on the external mihrab.
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A comprehensive textbook of the early Arabic Kufic script, written as a complete reference book for calligraphers, designers, and students of art history and the history of Arabic language and scripts. This beautiful and powerful script was derived from the earlier Hijazi Mashq style of Mecca and Medina, which was invented by early Muslim scribes to record the Quran. Today, the many historical manuscripts displayed in numerous museums around the world can attest to development and evolution of this remarkable and versatile script. Authored by master calligrapher, Mousavi Jazayeri, this book is the only book written in English that is solely dedicated to the study, learning and revival of the fascinating script behind the first mature Arabic calligraphic style, which was the official script of the Islamic Near East for centuries, before being replaced by the modern Naskh style. In this handbook, Mousavi Jazayeri who had discovered the lost art of cutting the qalam (pen) for early Kufic more than twenty years ago, explains with detailed, clear illustrations how to write early Kufic using a calligraphic pen and even a regular pen. He guides students patiently through the process involved in creating amazing, modern monograms. With clear, ample examples taken from the old Quranic manuscripts, art history students, font designers, and scholars of the history of the Arabic language and scripts can use this reference book to learn the key aspects of the early Kufic script as a writing system. Mr. Mousavi Jazayeri is joined by two co-authors, Perette E. Michelli, a multi-disciplinary historian of medieval and later art, and Saad D. Abulhab, a known Arabic type designer and independent scholar of the history of Arabic language and scripts. The two co-authors are members of the first international group dedicated to the study and revival of the early Kufic script, Kuficpedia, which was formed a few years ago around the historical achievements of Mr. Mousavi.

The authors of this book have taken a rare opportunity to bring together the many factors crucial to an adequate understanding of architectural inscriptions, and they have done so in relation to those in an important but sadly under-published historic mosque. The grand mosque of Shoushtar contains many historic inscriptions installed over time for documentary purposes, but the four monumental Kufic texts are integral parts of its design and meaning. They are here studied calligraphically, hermeneutically and phenomenologically, and in relation to the structure of the mosque itself, the whole being set against an outline of Shoushtar’s history and the features of the mosque. Begun in the ninth century CE, the grand mosque of Shoushtar is one of the earliest hypostyle mosques in Iran. It was built in “the city of scholars” when its residents included two great Sufis, Sahl Ibn Abdullah Tostari and Mansur Hallaj. This scholarly, mystical emphasis is reflected in the mosque itself and it is tempting to wonder whether the eleventh Shiite Imam, Hassan al-Askari, under house arrest at the time of building, had anything to do with its design. This mosque is idiosyncratic and much modified and now presents a complex interpretational challenge. This book is an important and long overdue contribution to our knowledge of Shoushtar and the historic application of monumental Kufic inscriptions. Its high quality illustrations allow personal study of all four Kufic inscriptions of the city’s grand mosque: Surat Ya-Sin which was once encircling the entire prayer hall, the dedicatory inscription above the secondary internal mihrab, its fascia inscription containing the last two verses of Surat al-Isra’ whose content parallels the fourth inscription of Surat al-Ikhlas (al-Tawhid) on the external mihrab.
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