Andalusi Calligraphy

A Beginner's Guide to Andalusi Calligraphy

Medina Whiteman and Zak Whiteman

This is the story of a calligraphic script that is almost extinct, yet which was once a crucial part of the most extraordinary cultural flourishing of the Middle Ages. We trace its journey from Madinah to its pinnacle in Al-Andalus, where we look at the rich context it evolved in. How did this once ubiquitous style fall into disuse, and what remains of it today?

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Andalusi Calligraphy

Medina Tenour Whiteman

Andalusi calligraphy, thought to be the only indigenous European script used to write the Holy Qur'an, is a dynamic, bold style of Arabic writing that was a vital element in the golden era of Islamic sciences and culture in Spain. Not only is this script exuberantly beautiful but it is also easy to write, as it utilises a round nibbled reed pen: this accessibility was what made it so important as a vehicle for the massive production of handwritten texts that made al-Andalus the height of sophistication in medieval Europe.

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