Illuminated manuscript, n.d.
Gift of Mrs. William F.E. Gurley
This superbly illuminated frontispiece is decorated in white ink on gold
ground, framed in gold with a stamped blue border. It contains the heading
and initial verses of the first chapter of the Qur'an. The decoration, as
is always the case with the Qur'an, is non-figural, relying instead on brilliantly
colored and gilded geometrical and vegetal designs. The Arabic text is written
in black ink, small florets marking the end of each short verse. Because
the Qur'an is seen as containing the unchanging word of God, the style and
technique of writing and decorating copies of the text remains remarkably
conservative through time.
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