calligraphic sculpture (was: RE: Japanese RTL ...)

From: Reynolds, Gregg (
Date: Thu Jan 13 2000 - 11:54:34 EST

> -----Original Message-----
> From: RajKumar []
> Sent: Thursday, January 13, 2000 10:15 AM
> On Wed, 12 Jan 2000, Frank da Cruz wrote:
> > Isn't the Taj Mahal covered with verses from the Koran? (Carved in
> > stone?)
> i am not sure of Taj Mahal but in north India, their are a
> lot of carved
> Arabic and many are done in beautifull calligraphy. Arabic
> calligraphy was
> a major art form during the mughal times

This is the case throughout the Middle East. Cairo in particular is full of
stone domed structures with lots of calligraphic sculpture. Not really
_in_scriptions; the letterforms are raised (I think). I imagine the great
buildings of Isfahan and Istanbul have similar decoration. Calligraphy
was/is _the_ major graphic art form of Islamic culture. Takes lots of
practice to read the stuff though; calligraphers in this tradition have far
more freedom in visual composition than in other calligraphic traditions, on
account of the contextual shaping of forms, which provides important cues
for deciphering. E.g., an isolated nuun will only ever occur as final
consonant in a certain class of words, so you can place it just about
anywhere - above, below, even preceding - relative to the letters that
precede it (phono-)logically, without sacrificing decipherability.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:20:58 EDT