Signed by Hamdullah ibn Mustafa Dede
Ink, colors, and gold on paper; marbled paper, leather binding
W. 12 5/8 in. (32.1 cm), H. 9 3/8 in. (23.8 cm)
Purchase, Edwin Binney 3rd and Edward Ablat Gifts, 1982 (1982.120.3)
This album consists of calligraphic works of hadith (prophetic traditions) by one of the most celebrated Ottoman Turkish calligraphers, Shaikh Hamdullah (died 1519), who developed the naskh and thuluth styles from the masters of the past to suit Ottoman taste. Shaikh Hamdullah, son of Mustafa Dede, came from a family of mystics in Amasya, Turkey. When his former pupil Bayezid II ascended the throne in 1481, Hamdullah followed him to Istanbul and was greatly honored by him. These pages demonstrate his mature phase and show control, exactitude, gentle flow, but also exaggeration of certain letters that create a lively rhythmic pattern. Marbleized paper developed in Turkey and came to be much favored for calligraphic works.