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Thuluth (Arabic : ثُلُث, Persian : ثلثsols, Turkish: Sülüs, from thuluth "one-third") is a script variety of Islamic calligraphy invented by Ibn Muqlah Shirazi. The straight angular forms of Kufic were replaced in the new script by curved and oblique lines. In Thuluth, one-third of each letter slopes, from which the name (meaning "a third" in Arabic) comes. An alternative theory to the meaning is that the smallest width of the letter is one third of the widest part. It is an elegant, cursive script, used in medieval times on mosque decorations. Various calligraphic styles evolved from Thuluth through slight changes of form.
The greatest contributions to the evolution of the Thuluth script occurred in the Ottoman Empire in three successive steps that Ottoman art historians call "calligraphical revolutions":
The best known artist to write the Thuluth script at its zenith is said to be Mustafa Râkım Efendi (1757–1826), a painter who set a standard in Ottoman calligraphy which many believe has not been surpassed to this day.
Thuluth was used to write the headings of surahs, Qur'anic chapters. Some of the oldest copies of the Qur'an were written in Thuluth. Later copies were written in a combination of Thuluth and either Naskh or Muhaqqaq. After the 15th century Naskh came to be used exclusively.
The script is used in the Flag of Saudi Arabia where its text, Shahada al Tawhid , is written in Thuluth.
An important aspect of Thuluth script is the use of harakat ("hareke" in Turkish) to represent vowel sounds and of certain other stylistic marks to beautify the script. The rules governing the former are similar to the rules for any Arabic script. The stylistic marks have their own rules regarding placement and grouping which allow for great creativity as to shape and orientation. For example, one grouping technique is to separate the marks written below letters from those written above.
Since its creation, Thuluth has given rise to a variety of scripts used in calligraphy and over time has allowed numerous modifications. JeliThuluth was developed for use in large panels, such as those on tombstones. Muhaqqaq script was developed by widening the horizontal sections[ clarification needed ] of the letters in Thuluth. Naskh script introduced a number of modifications resulting in smaller size and greater delicacy. Tawqi is a smaller version of Thuluth.
Ruq'ah was probably derived from the Thuluth and Naskh styles, the latter itself having originated from Thuluth.
Arabic Calligraphy is the artistic practice of handwriting and calligraphy based on the Arabic alphabet. It is known in Arabic as khatt, derived from the word 'line', 'design', or 'construction'. Kufic is the oldest form of the Arabic script.
Islamic calligraphy is the artistic practice of handwriting and calligraphy, based upon the alphabet in the lands sharing a common Islamic cultural heritage. It includes Arabic, Ottoman, Persian, Pakistan and Indian calligraphy. It is known in Arabic as khatt Islami, meaning Islamic line, design, or construction.
Naskh is a smaller, round script of Islamic calligraphy. Naskh is one of the first scripts of Islamic calligraphy to develop, commonly used in writing administrative documents and for transcribing books, including the Qur’an, because of its easy legibility. Naskh was standardized by Ibn Muqla as one of the six primary scripts of Islamic calligraphy in the 10th century CE.
Sheikh Hamdullah (1436–1520), born in Amasya, Ottoman Empire, was a master of Islamic calligraphy.
Hijazi script, also Hejazi, literally "relating to Hejaz", is the collective name for a number of early Arabic scripts that developed in the Hejaz region of the Arabian Peninsula, which includes the cities of Mecca and Medina. This type of script was already in use at the time of the emergence of Islam.
Mashq is one of the oldest calligraphic forms of the Arabic script. At the time of the emergence of Islam, this type of writing was likely already in use in various parts of the Arabian Peninsula. It is first attested during the reign of caliph Umar, making it one of the earliest forms of Arabic script, along with Hijazi and Kufic. It was used in most texts produced during the first and second centuries after the Hijra.
Hattat Aziz Efendi was an Ottoman calligrapher.
Hâfiz Osman (1642–1698) was an Ottoman calligrapher noted for improving the script and for developing a layout template for the hilye which became the classical approach to page design.
Yaqut al-Musta'simi (also Yakut-i Musta'simi) was a well-known calligrapher and secretary of the last Abbasid caliph.
The term hilya (Arabic حلية, Turkish: hilye denotes both a visual form in Ottoman art and a religious genre of Ottoman Turkish literature, each dealing with the physical description of Muhammad. Hilya literally means "ornament".
Mustafa Râkim (1757–1826), was an Ottoman calligrapher. He extended and reformed Hâfiz Osman's style, placing greater emphasis on technical perfection, which broadened the calligraphic art to encompass the Sülüs script as well as the Nesih script.
Ahmed Karahisari (1468–1566) was an Ottoman calligrapher.
İsmail Zühdi Efendi was an Ottoman calligrapher. “Efendi” is a title of nobility, so this name can also be rendered İsmail Zühdi.
Mahmud Celaleddin Efendi was an Ottoman calligrapher.
Kazasker Mustafa Izzet Efendi, was an Ottoman composer, neyzen, poet and statesman best known for his calligraphy.
Mehmed Shevki Efendi, was a prominent Ottoman calligrapher. He is known for his Thuluth-Naskh works, and his style developed into the Shevki Mektebi school, which many contemporary calligraphers in the style take as a reference.
Sami Efendi (1858-1912), was an Ottoman calligrapher.
Yesarizade Mustafa Izzet Efendi was an Ottoman calligrapher.
Suyolcuzade Mustafa Eyyubi was a 17th-century Ottoman calligrapher.
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