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 calligraphic fragment includes several verses from Nizami's (d. 614/1218) "Divan" (Compendium of Poems). Beginning with an invocation to God, the verses then describe how certain things and people fulfill a particular role in the world.The composition, which recalls a number of Safavid calligraphic exercises (siyah mashq) in its formal make-up and calligraphic style, must have been executed during the 16th or 17th century.

Calligrapher: Abu al-Ma'ali. Iran. 16th-17th centuries. 18.7 (w) x 12 (h) cm. Nasta'liq script. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, African and Middle Eastern Division.

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