Folio from a Koran (recto)

Folio from a Koran (recto)


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Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on parchment

Sheet: 23.7 x 33.7 cm (9 5/16 x 13 1/4 in.); Text area: 18.5 x 25 cm (7 5/16 x 9 13/16 in.)

Edward L. Whittemore Fund 1933.493.a


The sacred book of Islam, the Koran is believed by Muslims to be a literal transcription of the word of God, spoken in Arabic to the Prophet Muhammad (died 632). In order to convey the importance of the divine word, Arabic calligraphy—sometimes highly elaborate and embellished with gold—was used to create copies of the Koran.

The text on this page recounts an argument between God and Lucifer. Proud Lucifer declares himself superior to humans because he was formed from fire, while humans were molded from clay.

See also
Islamic Art
Islamic Art
Type of artwork: 

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