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Exploring Islamic Illumination

The Exploring Islamic Illumination course is 6 weeks long and introduces the student to an awareness of the world of Islamic manuscript illumination, also known as Tezhip, and the discipline required in learning this beautiful art form.

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Exploring Islamic Illumination

Time & Location

May 22, 2021, 4:00 PM UTC – Jun 26, 2021, 6:00 PM UTC


Course Details

Tezhip is the Turkish word meaning “ornamenting with gold” and is used to represent the Ottoman tradition of beautifying calligraphy. Renowned professor of Tezhip, Dr. Çiçek Derman, once said, “If the aim of the Hattat (calligrapher) is to write the Holy Qur’an in his best handwriting, the aim of the Tezhip artist is to illuminate it to express what is in their heart.”

This course will take an intellectual and hands-on look at how the art of Tezhip is taught formally. The most important aspect of this class is understanding the various techniques used to create a pattern and the level of fine craftsmanship required in creating an art piece with Tezhip. Students will experience a brief history of Tezhip and look at the different styles that are presently used by Tezhip artists.  Students will explore elements of Tezhip by looking at the building blocks that are used to make a simple pattern, and implementing those techniques in a pattern they will create. Students will be introduced to some major pioneers of Tezhip in the past