Skip to Content ☰ Open Filter >>

Object Results

Showing 1 of 1

Image of Calligraphy by Muhammad Ali

Additional Images Click an image to view a larger version


Calligraphy by Muhammad Ali

Creation date: 1781
Creation place: India

Other Information

Type: Watercolor Painting
Medium and Support: Opaque watercolor and gold on paper, mounted on an album page
Credit Line: Edwin Binney 3rd Collection
Accession Number: 1990.417
State/Province: Uttar Pradesh
Dimensions: 5 23/32 in. x 2 29/32 in. (14.5 cm x 7.4 cm)
Currently on view


Sotheby's, London, England (December 12, 1966 - December 12, 1966)

Maggs Bros. Ltd., London, England (December 12, 1966 - December 12, 1966)

Edwin Binney 3rd, San Diego, California (December 12, 1966 - August 27, 1990)

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California (August 27, 1990 - )

Label Copy

April-May, 2002
Art of the Book Installation
The art of bookmaking is extraordinarily important throughout Islamic countries, and calligraphy remains the preeminent art form. The Koran—the Muslim holy book—gives the art of writing a special place. Over the centuries, many styles of Arabic calligraphy evolved for special use in the Koran. Calligraphers, discouraged from using images from nature, elaborately decorated their books' margins with nonrepresentational motifs.
Islamic books are read from right to left and books are hinged on the right side. Calligraphy was written on parchment until paper was introduced from China in the eighth century. Paper was cheaper and had a considerable effect on the shape of books and the evolution of writing. Calligraphers used reed pens with nibs that were trimmed to the best shape for creating the desired calligraphic style. Each style required a a nib with a different shape.
In India, calligraphy was elevated as an art form with the arrival of the Muslims. This work is a page from an album. The date, in the center, indicates it was completed in 1193 according to the Islamic lunar calendar.
Last Updated: 9/26/2022


This object was included in the following exhibitions:

Young Art 2002 , 3/1/2002 - 6/1/2002

Justin Sterling: Chapel of the Rocks The San Diego Museum of Art , 10/29/2022 - 2/12/2023


This object has the following bibliographic references:

Catalogue of Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures, Sotheby & Co.. London, England, December 12, 1966
Page Number: 4, Lot no. 5

Submit a question or comment about this object

Showing 1 of 1

Your current search criteria is: [Object]CurrentLocation is "@galleries@" and [Object]Period/Reign is "Nawabs of Awadh/Asaf-ud-Daula (1775-1797)".