For most Muslims, the highest form of visual art – and for some, the only spiritually meaningful one – is calligraphy, the art of beautiful writing. Calligraphy gained its preeminence from the Qur’an, God’s revelation to the Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century of our era. Delivered orally in Arabic and received aurally, its verses were written in the Arabic script, first by the Prophet’s associates and later by professional scribes who tried to give reverent physical form to the immutable beauty of God’s word. Over the centuries, calligraphers developed many scripts and styles, but all Islamic cultures continue to accord great importance to beautiful writing, principally and primarily of Quranic scripture, but also of other literary genres. This great appreciation of writing has permeated all forms of Islamic visual culture, and thus calligraphy can be found on everything from mosques, schools, and palaces to humble bowls, beakers, and dishes. Sentiments expressed range from verses from the Qur’an and blessings upon the owner of the object to quotations from popular poetry. The choice of text depended on the function of the object: Quranic texts are appropriate only on things used in the practice of the faith, whereas poetry might appear on jugs and dishes used in daily life.
In this course, which is taught by a well-known calligrapher, you will become familiar with the world of calligraphy especially Kufic calligraphy. You will visit several places with beautiful and great Kufic patterns such as Masumeh holy shrine, different traditional made mosques in Isfahan and the biggest handwritten books library in middle east which you can see great handwritings from masters of this beautiful art and learn how to draw some of them in the traditional way that was drawn a few centuries ago.
Seyed Mohammad Vahid Mousavi Jazayeri
A master calligrapher, type designer and graphic designer, Seyed Mohammad Vahid Mousavi Jazayeri has taken a particular personal interest in the Kufic script and devoted years to independent research, visiting archaeological locations, historic buildings and cemeteries, mosques, libraries and museums to study the script through direct contact. He has developed a systematic research methodology and published his findings in several books. His professional interest in script and calligraphy stimulated his discovery of the historical method for cutting the Kufic pen, which has had a direct impact on his own work, as seen in a number of well-received exhibitions and workshops.