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Read about the exhibit

This painting was chosen
74%
of the time over other paintings.

Women slightly favor this painting. Jump to graph

Participants offered 166 unique terms to describe this painting! See them all

Caption: The Bismillah India (Deccan, Hyderabad), 1875-1900 Opaque watercolor and gold on paper Overall: 19 5/8 x 11 13/16 in. (49.8 x 30.0 cm) Brooklyn Museum. Gift of Philip P. Weisberg, 59.206.8

Label: In this unusual calligraphic composition from southern India, the Arabic phrase "Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim" (“In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate”) is written four times: right side up, upside down, and in reverse of each of these. It is the opening phrase of all but one of the chapters of the Qur\'an. In the little inscription in black ink above, the page is referred to as a tughra, a type of calligraphic emblem that originated in Turkey in the sixteenth century and became popular in India in the nineteenth. Mirror writing in various cursive and squared scripts was a common practice in India, Turkey, and Iran in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Calligraphers were the most celebrated artisans in traditional Islamic cultures: to repeat the Bismillah is to repeat the word of God; to do so in beautiful script is to glorify the word of God.

Biggest Reactions

These groups differed the most from the average rating

25-34 y.o. women with "no experience" 18-24 y.o. women with "more than a little experience" 45-54 y.o. men with "more than a little experience" 65-74 y.o. with "some experience" 18-24 y.o. with "more than a little experience"
Liked this painting:  
+8%
   
+8%
Preferred others:
-7%
 
-5%
-8%
 

Experience

Not so much Some More than a little Above average Expert
Liked this painting:    
+1%
0%
+5%
Preferred others:
-1%
-1%
     

Age

0-17 * 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65-74 75+ *
Liked this painting:
+3%
+2%
+1%
+2%
     
0%
Preferred others:        
-2%
-2%
-5%
 

Gender

Women slightly favor this painting.

Women Men
Liked this painting:
+1%
 
Preferred others:  
-1%

* We have low confidence in this metric because relatively few people in this group (less than 50) rated this object.

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