Folio from a Qur'an Manuscript

Object Name: Folio from a non-illustrated manuscript

Date: ca. 1180

Geography: Attributed to Eastern Iran or present-day Afghanistan

Culture: Islamic

Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper

Dimensions: 11.75 in. high 8.75 in. wide (29.8 cm high 22.2 cm wide)

Classification: Codices

Credit Line: H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Gift of Horace Havemeyer, 1929

Accession Number: 29.160.23


This folio from a Qur'an is decorated with foliate scrolls that form a background to elaborate "new style" calligraphy, particularly striking in combination with the letters alif and lam, which in this manuscript have been arranged to form a distinct oval-shaped pattern. Following the form of the calligraphy, the background scrolls and blossoms balance the angular lines of the text. The vertical format of the paper accentuates the height of the alifs and lams, which tower above the other letters on the page.