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Paper Information

Journal:   NEGAREH   fall 2018 , Volume 13 , Number 47 ; Page(s) 5 To 27.

Study of Layout Principles of the Opening Pages in the Qurans in Astan Quds Razavi from 6th to 9th Centuries A. H.

Author(s):  SHEIKHI ALIREZA*, Koohjani Guji Somaye
* Faculty of Applied Arts, Tehran University of Art, Tehran, Iran
The present study, alongside the value of the manuscriptology of Quran, makes a visual study of the opening pages of a collection of Qurans that have been preserved in Astan Quds Razavi from the 6th to the 9th century AH with the aim of laying stress on the layout, proportions, decorations and illumination. In this research, it is intended to find answers in connection with the layout feature of the opening pages in the Qurans that have been preserved in Astan Quds Razavi from the 6th to the 9th century AH and also the similarities and differences existing in the layout of the mentioned Qurans. Thus, in the above-mentioned Qurans, after the introduction, the opening page of the Qurans was examined, analyzed and discussed in terms of layout and decorations and notable results were obtained in this regard. It should be stated that the current study has been conducted by using a qualitative approach in which a historical, descriptive and analytical research method has been employed. Further, this research has been classified and then analyzed while having targeted statistical population and sequential sampling in the direction of maximum differences and similarities. Based on the findings obtained from the present research, it has been demonstrated that the layout of the Qurans’ opening pages has had an evolutionary movement from the 6th to the 9th century AH. In the Seljuk period, we observe that scribing and calligraphy have had significant growth and the sextet hands were also regulated and systematized. Moreover, during this era, skilled well-known scribes wrote the words of Allah on the surface of the paper. In the mentioned period, Kufic and Riqa’ scripts were applied more than any other scripts in the writing of the Quran. In the decoration of the Qurans, geometric forms consisting of regular polygons, circles and arabesques limited to twisted lines and limited simple bergamots and colors such as brown, vermilion, black and especially golden color were used. In layout proportions, the priority was the blank space and the artist paid special attention to this issue. It should be also noted that the greatest surface, in most cases, has been dedicated to the central inscription and the upper and lower inscriptions in some Qurans did not have equal proportions. From the first periods, the artists were familiar with the ruler and cleverly took into consideration the lineation and line space. These artists even accurately placed the sign of verses over the last verse, which also continued in later periods. In the Ilkhanid period, it can be seen that composition and layout became more consistent and more orderly and the layout principles were more closely respected and the blank space was reduced in this era. The use of golden and azure colors, along with colors used in the previous periods, became widespread. Geometric forms kept their place alongside some naturalistic elements such as arabesque foliage and colorful Khataei designs in the page. Motifs of flowers and cloud-shape margins and hachures and sometimes arabesques in this period, along with verses, featured in the central inscription. Scribed Qurans in the Timurid era were principled and systematic in terms of structure and using naturalistic elements and elegant designs. The maximum use of the blank space of the margin by wide lassos with azure rays of light in the opening pages attracts the attention of the viewer. In addition, dynamic proportions were found more than the static proportions in the aforesaid Qurans. The application of golden, azure and vermilion colors, along with other various colors, was among the main characteristics of decorations in this period. Also, in proportions of the components, the greatest part has been allocated to the epigraph after the lasso and the central inscription, and the smallest part has been dedicated to the lower inscriptions. Verses have been also written on the inscriptions with Sols, Riqa’ and Reyhan scripts. Finally, it can be mentioned that since the beginning page of the Divine Word has been considered as the most important part in the writing of Qurans, it has also been of crucial importance in terms of layout, proportions and illumination in the page. Therefore, the art of scribing, from the 6thto the 9th century AH, has advanced from a simple and unadorned form towards integrated and elaborate designs, and decorations in Qurans have been also considered as an aesthetic element in layout. Further, the composition of proportions and division of the components were based on a certain order. Hence, geometrical structure, proportion and balance are of great importance in the layout of the Qurans under study and the scribe has observed these principles based on the science, technology and art which have been popular in his own time and thus has created beautiful and unmatched compositions.
Keyword(s): Quran,Layout,Opening Page,Astan Quds Razavi,Seljuk,Ilkhanid,Timurid
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