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Folio from the "Blue" Qur'an

Arts of the Islamic World

If God is light, one might consider the gilded words on this Qur’an page as rays of light for those who read and recite his revelations. The “Blue” Qur’an, so named after the rich, indigo-dyed parchment used for its folios, is arguably one of the most extraordinary luxury manuscripts ever created. The angular gold Kufic script was executed using the technique of chrysography, in which ground gold suspended in solution is carefully applied. The unusual color scheme may have been inspired by Byzantine manuscripts; it also may bear some relation to the decoration of the mihrab (prayer niche) at the Great Mosque of Cordoba in Spain. The page shown here includes Arabic text from the chapter called “The Women” (Surat al-Nisā’, 4:56–59); these verses refer to the rewards of Paradise awaiting believers in the hereafter.
MEDIUM Ink, opaque watercolor, silver (now oxidized) and gold on blue-dyed parchment
DATES 9th-10th century
DIMENSIONS 11 3/16 x 15 in. (28.4 x 38.1 cm)  (show scale)
INSCRIPTIONS In Arabic, Qur'an 4:56–59, Surat al-Nisa’ ("The Women); these verses refer to the rewards of Paradise awaiting believers in the hereafter.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Gift of Beatrice Riese
RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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CAPTION Folio from the "Blue" Qur'an, 9th-10th century. Ink, opaque watercolor, silver (now oxidized) and gold on blue-dyed parchment, 11 3/16 x 15 in. (28.4 x 38.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Beatrice Riese, 1995.51a-b
IMAGE front, 1995.51a-b_front_IMLS_SL2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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