580Islamic Calligraphy article and other tidbits.
- Apr 14, 2001Thanks for pointing this out Susan!
Incidentally, the very same names that are mentioned in this article have a
lot to do with early marbling. So far, the oldest known datable pieces of
Islamic marbling are the signed original poetic compositions (Qita') of Mir
'Ali ul Haravi, who died in 1544. Only one of the examples I've come across
has a date of 1540, showing that it was composed in Bukhara, but it still
can't be determined that all of the qita' were produced there, and some may
have in fact been composed in Herat. One the other hand, while there's a
lot of evidence to show how marbling was used, there is still very little
information concerning the actual marblers.
Usually it has been assumed that it was done in association with the
calligraphers in their atelier. I do wonder however if it is possible that
it could have been manufactured in conjunction with papermaking, as not all
colored and decorated papers necessarily originated in the court.
One of the pieces from the Kevorkian collection does have an interesting
fragment in the borders of one of the non marbled Mir 'Ali Qita. It's a
fragment of an earlier poet and Nasta'liq calligrapher named Kamal Khujandi,
who died much earlier, around 1410 in Tabriz in Iran. Another example of
his work is part of a composite page form an album (Muraqqa) in the Musée
d'Histiore in Geneva. The problem is that these particular fragments aren't
signed by the author. The one in Geneva has a posthumous attribution
written underneath the piece. While it can't be proved for certain that
Kamal Khujandi used marbled paper, it may well be an indicator that the
technique was known and used earlier than previously thought.
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