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.

This text describes an episode from the "Haft Paykar" (Seven Thrones) of Nizami (d. 614/1218), the fourth book from his "Khamsah" (Quintet). In this romantic allegory of love and frustration, the Sassanian ruler Bahram Gur (r. 420-438) visits seven pavilions on each of the seven days of the week. The verses are executed in black nasta'liq script in four columns separated by gold gutters.

Bahram Gur in the yellow pavilion. Iran. 16th century. 13.5 (w) x 22 (h) cm. Nasta'liq script. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, African and Middle Eastern Division.

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