Monthly Archives: Decembrie 2010

ajun de Craciun


ajun de Craciun atipic, petrecut intre Paltinul si servici …
ciudate circumstante …
din fericire ma intorc mai linistita. nu este ceva grav. doar o anemie, o carenta de calciu si un inceput de anemie de fier.
altceva sper sa nu fie. inca nu am investigat mai mult de atat, dar dna dr. Bucur m-a ajutat linistindu-ma …

Zoomorphic Calligraphy


„This new mode was not a matter of script metamorphosing into living forms which are also readable letters, but of using script to delineate such forms. Seldom had the flexibility of the Arabic alphabet been so tested.

This practice established itself only relatively late in Islamic art, when the taboos outlawing religious iconography had lost some of their power.

[Zoomorphic calligraphy] developed [..] in Ottoman Turkey, India and Qajar Iran [and] was known as early as 1458.”


All the above zoomorphic (and anthropomorphic) works are © Hassan Musa from Sudan.

Most, but not all, of these images come from the Sudan Artists Gallery.

„Hafez (d. 1390) is Iran’s premier and most quoted lyric poet. His status in his own country, and his universal appeal, can be compared with that of Shakespeare in the English-speaking world. The painter and printmaker Jila Peacock has chosen ten love poems from Hafez and following the footsteps of the great Islamic calligraphers, has produced ten shape-poems that sit by her own translations from the Persian.”

‘Ten Poems from Hafez’ by Jila Peacock includes a fascinating introduction – and the best information online I could find about zoomorphic calligraphy – by Robert Hillenbrand, Professor of Islamic Art at the University of Edinburgh.

‘Ten Poems from Hafez’ also just happens to be one of the display items in a current free exhibition at the British Museum ‘Word into Art: Artists of the Modern Middle East’ until September 3, 2006. {click the small book icon near the bottom of Jila Peacock’s site to see the images}

17th century album leaf from Ottoman Turkey.

The inscription forming the peacock’s tail reads:

„Beautiful as a houri, of angelic character, of auspicious omen, envy of the perfect ones, parrot of sweet tongue and sweet speech, peacock of the garden of … the lofty decree, sultan of the sultans of the world, fortunate and august, khaqan of the shahs, Darius of the time, Faridun of the age, hero of the world, [text reverses direction] champion of earth and time, sultans of the sultan of the family of cUthman ibn Sultan Ghazi Khan … may God extend the days of his [happiness] to the day of [judgment?].”

Surprisingly there doesn’t appear to be any specific site or exhibition devoted solely to zoomorphic calligraphy so I went sifting with a clutch of search terms in english and arabic to find some images. If anyone knows of any other material, please post the links as a comment or email me.

Zoomorphic calligraphy is another one of those areas where I am far out of my depth and even using the array of well-polished BibiOdyssey mirrors I couldn’t illuminate the subject to any worthy extent. The Hillenbrand article linked above is a good start {update: posted in full in the comments below for posterity}. I just love the art form.