Ibn al-Bawwāb

Ibn al-Bawwāb

▪ Arab calligrapher
in full  Abū Al-ḥasan ʿalī Ibn Hilāl Ibn Al-bawwāb,  also called  Ibn As-sitrī 
born 10th century, , Iraq
died 1022 or 1031, Baghdad

      Arabic calligrapher of the ʿAbbāsid Age (750–1258) who reputedly invented the cursive rayḥānī and muḥaqqaq scripts. He refined several of the calligraphic styles invented a century earlier by Ibn Muqlah, including the naskhī (naskhī script) and tawqī scripts, and collected and preserved for his students numerous original manuscripts of that master.

      Ibn al-Bawwāb was from a poor family: the name he is known by means literally “son of the doorkeeper.” Nevertheless, he received a thorough education in law and is said to have known the Qurʾān by heart. Ibn al-Bawwāb's interest in calligraphy was inspired by Muḥammad ibn Asad and was developed under Muḥammad ibn Samsamānī, both of whom were students of Ibn Muqlah. Altogether, Ibn al-Bawwāb reputedly produced 64 copies of the Qurʾān by hand. One of the most beautiful in the rayḥānī script is in the Laleli Mosque in Istanbul, a gift of the Ottoman Sultan Selim I (1470–1512). Ibn al-Bawwāb was recognized as a master in his own time; his school of calligraphy lasted until Baghdad fell to the Mongol invaders more than two centuries after his death.

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Universalium. 2010.

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