The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of June 17, 2024

Qur'an Manuscript Folio

Qur'an Manuscript Folio

Location: not on view


Calligraphy, the art of beautiful writing, was elevated above all other art forms in the Islamic world because Allah, God, revealed the divine word of Islam to the Prophet Muhammad in the Arabic language. Arabic script evolved gradually until the 800s when Muslim scribes produced copies of the Qur'an that were calligraphic masterpieces. This Qur'an, written entirely in gold, exemplifies the angular form of writing known as kufic at its majestic best. Distinctive markings—short ink strokes, colored dots—identify the vocalization of the text. Each folio is framed by an interlacing border and displays a leafy motif in the outer margin.

The text on the right page is the opening of the Chapter of the Star (53:1–21) with a section heading in the margin and an illuminated foliate band for the chapter heading at the top of the page. It begins: “By the star when it plunges, your comrade is not astray, neither errs, nor speaks he out of caprice. This is naught but a revelation revealed, taught him by one terrible in power, very strong.”

The text on the left page is from the Chapter of the Moon (54:13–27).
  • ?-1993
    (Oliver Hoare Limited, London, UK, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art)
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Lings, Martin. The Quranic Art of Calligraphy and Illumination. London: World of Islam Festival Trust, 1976. Comparative Material Mentioned and Reproduced: p. 18, nos. 3,4.
    Ülker, Muammer. Türk Hat Sanati [= The Art of Turkish Calligraphy from the Beginning Up to Present]. Ankara: Türkiye is Bankasi, 1987. Mentioned: pp. 106, 108; Reproduced: pp. 107, 105
    Deroche, Francois. The Abbasid tradition: Qur'ans of the 8th to the 10th centuries AD. [London]: Nour Foundation in association with Azmimuth and Oxford University Press, 1992. Comparative Material Mentioned and Reproduced: pp. 90–91, cat. 41
    Auld, Sylvia, "Review of F. Deroche, The Abassid Tradition" Qur'ans of the 8th to the 10th Centuries A.D...," in Oriental Art 39 no. 3 (1993): 93. p. 93
    "1993 Annual Report." The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 81, no. 6 (1994): 143-218. Reproduced: p. 198; Mentioned: p. 158
    Cleveland Museum of Art. The CMA Companion: A Guide to the Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art, 2014. Mentioned and reproduced: P. 224
  • Main Gallery Rotation (gallery 116). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (November 14, 2012-December 9, 2013).
  • {{cite web|title=Qur'an Manuscript Folio|url=false|author=|year=800s|access-date=17 June 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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