Topkapi Scroll I
Topkapi Scroll I
Artwork Title & Inspiration
'Topkapi Scroll I'
Inspired by the late 15th & early 16th century Topkapi Scroll, a Timurid collection of Islamic architectural designs, currently preserved at the Topkapi Palace Museum Library in Turkey. It served as a blueprint for complex vaults, geometric ornaments, mosaic tiles and polychromatic masonry and is of considerable importance as it is one of the very few surviving sources on Islamic design from the premodern Islamic world. The scroll consists of 114 patterns and measures an astonishing 0.33m (13 in) by 29.5 m (97 ft) when unrolled. One end of the scroll is fixed to a wooden roller, and the other end is assembled to a protective leather end.
The beautifully hand embossed work offered here consists of geometric patterns and Kufic script calligraphy:
- Hexagons contain 'Muhammad' ﷺ and 'Ali' (رضي الله عنه) in Kufic script six times each in rotational symmetry.
- Pale pink triangles contain 'Muhammad' ﷺ three times surrounded by the testimony of faith (Shahada) in Kufic script.
- Gold triangles contain 'Muhammad' ﷺ in Kufic script three times in rotational symmetry.
Geometry & Calligraphy
Hand embossed with Kufic script Arabic calligraphy and geometric patterns on Fabriano paper. Decorated with soft pastel colours, gold inks and gold powders.
69 x 88 cm (Includes frame)
Country of Origin
Saudi Arabian artist, Raeda Ashour, specialises in miniature art, Arabian and Islamic motif compositions and adapted these in a modern interpretation that is appealing to contemporary tastes.
With the use of harmonious compositions and a melody of variance in paper surface treatments by hand embossing, collage effects are produced using gold and silver inks, soft pastel colours and various dye-transfer techniques.
Raeda has a Bachelor's degree in Middle Eastern Studies from the American University of Cairo and worked in publishing from 1983 until 1991 as the owner of Dar Al-Bayader. Raeda has held a number of workshops in sacred geometry and pattern in Islamic art at The Prince's School of Traditional Arts in London. In 2007 she received an MA in arts education from Rushmore University.
Architectural elements and depicted detail reveal a strong and confident visualisation and realisation of aesthetic components known to be prevalent in the Islamic art and ornamentation. Raeda found herself first inspired by the old Arabian cities with their famous architectural and aesthetic features. Raeda continues to explore and research the subject of what constitutes Islamic art, its beauty, mystery, philosophy and aesthetics.
Embossed artwork photography courtesy of Tom Gowanlock.