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.

A celebrated sixteenth-century calligrapher, Kamal al-Din was also known as Ayn al-Din "the one-eyed" and reportedly excelled in the nasta'liq script. This text, beseeching God for his help and mercy, is written in a variation of the nasta'liq style, known as ta'liq script. It is notable for its looping connections, staggered placement of letters and words, as well as its densely packed appearance, which is accentuated here by the curved alignment of the text. Unlike most other calligraphic styles that are adapted to a variety of media, the ta'liq script was reserved for works on paper.

Calligrapher: Kamal al-Din. Iran or Afghanistan. 1541-1542 A.D. 22 x 13.7 cm. Courtesy of the Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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