Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Folio from a Qur'an Manuscript

Object Name:
Folio from a non-illustrated manuscript
first half 10th century
Central or Eastern Islamic Lands
Ink and gold on parchment
H. 5 1/8 in. (13 cm) W.4 1/8 in. (10.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1937
Accession Number:
Not on view
This folio features a number of decorative elements that were meant to assist the reader by rendering the text of the Qur’an more legible. The kufic letters are written in brown ink, with the words’ vowels indicated above and below letters in red dots. Other markings in blue, green, and yellow further clarify pronunciation. Rosettes, as in the left margin, mark the end of verses. Sura (chapter) headings are enclosed in gilded, decorative boxes that begin with palmettes in the right hand margin. The parchment support places the Qur’an in the early Islamic period, since paper came to dominate from the eleventh century on.
[ Arthur Upham Pope, London, until 1937; sold to MMA]
Grabar, Oleg. "1989 Andrew W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts." In Intermediary Demons Toward a Theory of Ornament. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., 1989. p. 67, ill. fig. 41 (b/w).

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