Lot n° 68
1500 - 2000
CALLIGRAPHIE MONTÉE EN PAGE D’ALBUM
SIGNED BY AHMAD SHAMS AL-DÎN QARA-HISÂRÎ /AHMED SEMSEDDIN KARAHISÂRÎ, TURKEY, ISTANBUL, 16th CENTURY
Twenty-two lines written in black ink and gold on paper, in nastaʿlīq and one line in naskhi, signature of calligrapher: "kataba-hu Aḥmad qara hisârî". Inscribed with a ghazal by ʿImâdî Ghaznavî, a 12th-century Persian poet, mounted on an album page with salmon margins decorated in gold with floral scrolls.
AN ALBUM PAGE MOUNTED CALLIGRAPHY BY AHMAD SHAMS AL-DIN QARA HISARI (GHAZAL IMADI GHAZNAVI), TURKEY, ISTANBUL, OTTOMAN, CIRCA 16TH CENTURY.
Page size : 29.5 x 18 cm ; Text area size : 17.4 x 8.1 cm.
This calligraphy page features a romantic poem by ʿImâdī Ghaznavî, a 12th-century Persian poet, written by an Ottoman court calligrapher, Aḥmad Qara-Hisârî (875-963 AH/1470-1556) in Istanbul.
Originally from Iran, Qara-Ḥisârî emigrated to Istanbul during the reign of Bayezid II (1447-1512) and remained there until the end of his life. He was the disciple of Asad-Allâh Kirmânî (Essedullah-i Kirmani), a famous Iranian calligrapher living in Istanbul. Based on the information in the wage book of the year 952 A.H. 1545, during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent (1494-1566), it is believed that he served at court. On the other hand, he lived a simple, ascetic and modest life and an example of mystic ethics.
He is known for his mastery of the seven styles of Islamic calligraphy, especially in the thuluth and naskhi manuscripts; this nastaʿliq page also demonstrates his mastery of this style.
It is known that he was always looking for new compositions and forms by replacing the letters he wrote in black ink with those in gold. This is also evident in the present leaflet.
Qara-Ḥisârî produced many works, including the Qur'an, religious texts and monumental inscriptions. Several of Qara-Ḥisârî's works are now on display at the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts in Istanbul. Among his most famous works is the Qur'an he wrote for Suleyman the Magnificent, which is in the library of the Topkapi Palace Museum, reflecting the level of his skills.
For more information:
Muhittin Serin, KARAHİSÂRÎ, Ahmed Şemseddin, in TDV İslâm Ansiklopedisi, available at: https://islamansiklopedisi.org.tr/karahisari-ahmed-semseddin
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