Folio from a Qur'an
late 8th century
Made in Syria, Damascus
Ink, pigments, and gold leaf on parchment
12 3/16 x 15 3/8 in. (31 x 39 cm)
The David Collection, Copenhagen (18/1965)
Not on view
The elegant Kufic script on theis folio from a Qur’an attributed to the Umayyad capital is written in the horizontal format that became standard for Qur’ans. Round markers in gold indicate groups of ten verses for recitation, while red dots provide vocalizations to clarify meaning. The elegance of the Kufic calligraphy, which carries the eye easily from right to left across the page, is apt for folios containing the sura Al-Zukhruf ("Ornaments of Gold"), which asserts the centrality of Arabic as the heard and written word of the Qur’an. A second folios from this Qur’an in the collection of the Brooklyn Museum, New York, is included in the exhibition.