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Description - Cosmic Script by Ahmed Moustafa

This landmark study is the first comprehensive exploration of the `Proportioned Script', an Arabic writing system attributed to the Abbasid wazir (minister) Ibn Muqla and the master scribe Ibn al-Bawwab that has dominated the art of Arabic and Islamic penmanship from the 10th century to the present day. Volume One, `Sources and Principles of the Geometry of Letters', traces the origin of the Proportioned Script to the cross-cultural encounter between Greek learning and the scientific, artistic and philosophical pursuits of classical Islam. On the basis of instructions in surviving sources it identifies a grid module that serves as a common foundation for the design of all the Arabic letter shapes. In Volume Two, `From Geometric Pattern to Living Form', the authors construct each of the letter shapes on the grid module and compare their findings to samples traced by two classical master scribes. They conclude by examining the religious, aesthetic and cosmological significance of the Proportioned Script in the wider context of the Islamic cultural heritage. Drs Moustafa and Sperl have succeeded in unearthing the very foundations of Arabic penmanship, with implications for the arts of Islam as a whole.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780500517666
ISBN-10: 0500517665
Format: Hardback
(280mm x 335mm x 86mm)
Pages: 724
Imprint: Thames & Hudson Ltd
Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd
Publish Date: 1-Nov-2014
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Ahmed Moustafa

Ahmed Moustafa is an Islamic artist and Arabic master scribe who received his original training in Western art. His works are included in major museum collections in North America, Europe, and the Middle East. As chairman of the Research Centre in Arab Art and Design in London, he has acted as design consultant for major corporations in the Middle East. He has also lectured widely on the subject of Arabic penmanship. Stefan Sperl is senior lecturer in Arabic at the London School of Oriental and African Studies. He has published widely in the field of classical Arabic literature and Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies.

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