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The Word Illuminated: Form and Function of Qurʾanic Manuscripts from the Seventh to Seventeenth Centuries

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posted on 2023-01-24, 16:52 authored by Simon Rettig, Sana Mirza

Diplomatic gifts, war prizes, or library treasures of royal and princely libraries—handwritten Qurʾans have also been endowed to mosques, tombs, and other religious complexes to perpetuate and transmit their baraka (divine blessing). Artistic, historic, and religious contexts and materiality of Qurʾans are investigated, from use of costly materials such as gold and parchment to development of special scripts, intricate illuminated designs, and meticulously tooled bindings. This edited collection resulted from a 2016 symposium at the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sacker Gallery in conjunction with the exhibition The Art of the Qurʾan: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts



  • Open Monographs
  • Proceedings and Edited Collections

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Smithsonian Institution; National Museum of Asian Art; El-Hibri Foundation