Thursday, 24 April 2008

Ferdih Otomana
Our dear friend Ferdih send news from Spain:

I agree with ancient people: writing is gods’ gift. I like to read, write and appreciate a well-done calligraphy. I think it’s more than an act of protecting history; to me, writing is the drawing of our thoughts, the only way of making the creative spirit visible.

Two of the greatest cradles of our actual alphabet are good examples of the sacred way writing should be treated. Ancient Egypt considered their scribes to be people with the divine touch, and their position within social hierarchy was of major importance, likely higher than painters’s, architects’s, and sculptors’s. Arabia has always valued writing as well. According to the Koran, God’s first word to humanity was “read!”, and the muslims see it as a way of praying and religiousness to write Allah’s and Muhammad’s names in a beautiful way. Although an atheist myself, I do feel enlightened when I see the richness of muslim calligraphy.

Living in Andaluzia, the Arabian side of Spain, I had the joy of getting enchanted by an exhibition I saw last week, at Sevilla Real Alcázar: “Ottoman Calligraphy”.

The exhibition is a select selection of works from the Sakip Sabanci Museum, in Istambul, and it shows the history of the ottoman calligraphy evolution along 500 years. Besides Koran pages and richly adorned royal stamps, there’s also wood pieces, paintings and lots of calligraphy tools, like pens and ink holders, out of 96 breathtaking objects.

The exhibition is divided in three small rooms. As expected, in order to preserve the exposed works, it’s a dim room and taking pictures, with or without flash, was strictly forbidden. Luckly, (also a very commercial tool) there’s a thick book for sale containing all the exhibition images plus some more of the history of ottoman calligraphy. Of course, one of those copies is already mine!

Interesting links:
A blog about ottoman calligraphy, full of images from de exhibition and more
Wikipedia about the Sakip Sabanci Museum
Sakip Sabanci Museum homepage
Sevilla tourism webpage


Por Henrique Nardi
24/04/08  •  Permalink  •  

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