Title:Page from the KoranArtist:Artist UnknownDate:Seljuk dynastyCreation Place:Asia, IranCredit Line:Gift of C. C. Webber and Margaret McMillan WebberAccession Number:59.1
The earliest Korans were written almost exclusively in the script known as kufic, after the town of Kufa in Mesopotamia where the style originated. Until the eleventh century, letters were thick and well-rounded, with short vertical and pronounced horizontal strokes. In later examples like this however, letters appear more angular with a stronger emphasis on the vertical elements. This form of kufic eventually gave way to more fluid cursive styles, including thuluth, naskhi and nastaliq, probably the most elegant Persian script. In this example, the rich background of muted arabesques heightens the angularity and strength of the script itself.