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Dick Osseman | all galleries >> Bursa >> Ulu Camii in Bursa > Bursa Ulu (Great) Mosque Caligraphy
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Bursa Ulu (Great) Mosque Caligraphy

Bursa Ulu (Great) Mosque Caligraphy

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A calligraphy that has the shape of a sun; the big signs are the ‘vav’(the 27th letter of the modern Arabic alphabet). Inside each ‘vav’ a verse of the ‘Şems Suresi’ (Sura of the Sun/the 91th chapter of the Kuran) is written. Late-Ottoman, 19th century.
The ornament above the calligraphy dates from the same period; it displays the ‘Turkish Baroque’style, which was influenced by European Neo-Classicism (and more specifically here by the French ‘Nouvel Empire’ style).

Regarding Islamic calligraphy:
also known as ‘Arabic calligraphy’, is the artistic practice of handwriting, calligraphy, and by extension, of bookmaking, in the lands sharing a common Islamic cultural heritage. This art form is based on the Arabic script, which for a long time was used by all Muslims in their respective languages. Ottoman Turkish calligraphy is associated with abstract arabesque motifs on the walls and ceilings of mosques as well as on the page. The calligrapher can pursue different goals: the pure beauty of the line, the readability of the text, the monumentality of the inscription, symmetry, dynamic flow, even the suggestion or contours of an object.
Muslims used calligraphy to represent God because they denied representing God with images. It is especially revered among Islamic arts since it was the primary means for the preservation of the Koran. Suspicion of figurative art as idolatrous led to calligraphy and abstract depictions becoming a major form of artistic expression in Islamic cultures, especially and particularly in religious contexts.

Correspondent: J.M.Criel, Antwerpen.
Sources: Websites of ‘’ and ‘’ & Wikipedia

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