Calligraphy Qalam: An Introduction to Arabic, Persian and Ottoman Calligraphy uses interactive tools to interest new audiences in the traditional art forms of Arabic, Ottoman and Persian calligraphy.

Although the oldest Korans that have survived (dating to the eighth century) avoid the use of ornamental devices and illuminations, by the ninth century they had become common. The background of this manuscript was originally tinted blue.

North Africa (?). Late 9th to early 10th century. 28.3 x 39.8 cm. Kufic script. Courtesy of the Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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