Thuluth

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Calligraphic panel with prayer in thuluth, which reads "the grasping of God brings the knowledge of His comfort". The later inscription attributed this work to Alaeddin Tabrizi. Library of Congress Arabic prayer - Thuluth script (cropped).jpg
Calligraphic panel with prayer in thuluth, which reads "the grasping of God brings the knowledge of His comfort". The later inscription attributed this work to Alaeddin Tabrizi. Library of Congress

Thuluth (Arabic : ثُلُث, Ṯuluṯ or Arabic : خَطُّ الثُّلُثِ, Ḵaṭṭ-uṯ-Ṯuluṯ; Persian : ثلث, Sols; Turkish: Sülüs, from thuluth "one-third") is a script variety of Islamic calligraphy. 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.

Contents

History

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":

Artists

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. [8]

Usage

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.

Style

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.

Scripts developed from Thuluth

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.

Related Research Articles

Arabic calligraphy

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 Artistic practice of calligraphy in Islamic contexts

Islamic calligraphy is the artistic practice of handwriting and calligraphy, in the languages which use Arabic alphabet or the alphabets derived from it. It includes Arabic, Persian, Ottoman, and Urdu calligraphy. It is known in Arabic as khatt Arabi, which translates into Arabic line, design, or construction.

Naskh (script) Small, round script of Islamic calligraphy

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.

Kufic Style of Arabic script

Kufic script is a style of Arabic script that gained prominence early on as a preferred script for Quran transcription and architectural decoration, and it has since become a reference and an archetype for a number of other Arabic scripts. It developed from the Nabataean alphabet in the city of Kufa, from which its name is derived. Kufic script is characterized by angular, rectilinear letterforms and its horizontal orientation. There are many different versions of Kufic script, such as square Kufic, floriated Kufic, knotted Kufic, and others.

Muhaqqaq

Muhaqqaq is one of the main six types of calligraphic script in Arabic. The Arabic word muḥaqqaq (محقَّق) means "consummate" or "clear", and originally was used to denote any accomplished piece of calligraphy.

Sheikh Hamdullah

Sheikh Hamdullah (1436–1520), born in Amasya, Ottoman Empire, was a master of Islamic calligraphy.

Hijazi script

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

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.

Ibn al-Bawwab

Ibn al-Bawwāb, also known as Ali ibn-Hilal, Abu'l-Hasan, and Ibn al-Sitri, was an Arabic calligrapher and illuminator who lived during the time of the Buyid dynasty. He is the figure most associated with the adoption of round script to transcribe the Qur'an. He most likely died around 1022 CE in Baghdad.

Hâfiz Osman

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-Mustasimi Calligrapher, Secretary of Al-Mustasim

Yaqut al-Musta'simi (Arabic: ياقوت المستعصمي) was a well-known calligrapher and secretary of the last Abbasid caliph.

Hilya

The term hilya 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

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

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

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 Şevkî Efendi

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.

References

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  2. Pritchett, Frances. "hamdullah1500s". www.columbia.edu. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  3. Üniversitesi, İstanbul. "İstanbul Üniversitesi - Tarihten Geleceğe Bilim Köprüsü - 145". www.istanbul.edu.tr. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  4. Ali, Wijdan. "From the Literal to the Spiritual: The Development of Prophet Muhammad's Portrayal from 13th Century Ilkhanid Miniatures to 17th Century Ottoman Art Archived 2004-12-03 at the Wayback Machine ". In Proceedings of the 11th International Congress of Turkish Art, eds. M. Kiel, N. Landman, and H. Theunissen. No. 7, 124. Utrecht, The Netherlands, August 23–28, 1999, p. 7
  5. "Mehmed Şevki Efendi". wordpress.com. 1 October 2006. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  6. Türk Ýslam Sanatlarý - Tezyini Sanatlar Archived 2012-06-30 at archive.today
  7. Journal of Ottoman Calligraphy :: RAKIM: “Mustafa Rakim” (1757 - 1826) :: April :: 2006 Archived 2008-03-06 at the Wayback Machine