Calligraphy Qalam: An Introduction to Arabic, Persian and Ottoman Calligraphy

CalligraphyQalam.com uses interactive tools to interest new audiences in the traditional art forms of Arabic, Ottoman and Persian calligraphy.

The inscription on this brightly-colored ornament is the bismillah, a pious invocation meaning, "In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful."

Iran. Late 16th to early 17th century. 4.7 cm diameter. Naskh script. Courtesy of the Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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