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CALLIGRAPHY – HÜSN-İ HAT

Having started from prehistoric ages and collecting the traces of various religions, climates, geographies and civilizations, Turkish arts have reached a brand new synthesis in the framework of Islam civilizations.

Reaching far to our day, Gokturk Scripts are the product of a developed and great civilization in Central Asia as documents that indicate how advanced writing arts and culture were in Turkish civilizations.
Uyghur script lived in Central Asia for ages as the language of culture and arts. Based on this ancient culture and arts tradition, Turks continued to play a historical role in the development of Islamic scripts after their conversion to Islam by training great masters that realized the most important development steps of Islamic scripts (1).

Hüsn-i Hat refers to ‘artistic writing’ or ‘beautiful writing’. This simple form of writing came from Phoenicians, used by the Nabat tribe and then passed on to Arabs. Combined with the different senses of culture and aesthetics of communities that newly adopted Islam, this form of writing reached perfection upon twelve ages of development and became the one and only writing form with the highest aesthetic and artistic value amongst hundreds of writing forms in the world’s history.

The accurate designations of the Quran and Hadiths created the Science of Calligraphy, while the artistic perspective with which this writing was treated created the Art of Calligraphy from the first moment of its use.

At first, two different writing styles were observed in terms of form depending on the effect different fields of use and different materials.
First of these is the writing style dominated by sharp corners and used for scripts on stone and important documents, while the other is a writing style with mobility dominated by soft and curved lines.

In these periods, the first calligrapher mentioned in resources as an artist is Halid b. Ebu’l-Heyyac who earned his reputation especially during the period of Omayyads. He is followed by Ebu Yahya Malik b. Dinar and Kutbetü’l-Muharrir who was one of the first of the great masters of this field. 

The Art of Calligraphy reached a shapely and proper form on the basis of ratios invented by artists during the period of Abbasids. As a result of three centuries of seeking and experience, this metrical calligraphy was brought to a certain personality by İbn-i Mukle (940) in Baghdad with specific laws and rules.

celi (clear) calligraphy was the most preferred form in works of architecture, while high-rank officials produced writings by using such forms as Celil, Tumar, Riyasi, Sülüseyn and Tevki.

The second most important master of the Abbasids was İbn-i Bevvab (1022). In this first development period of five centuries, Baghdad was the most important centre of arts, while the greatest master of the screening and selection period was Cemaleddin Yakut b. Abdullah (1298).

The most significant revolution realized by Yakut in the Art of Calligraphy was his shift from straight cuts to oblique cuts and his contribution to the aesthetic value of the writing. Then, he also identified and systematized all of six types of writing presented to him with each rule. 

After Yakut, the Art of Calligraphy became the most prominent branch of arts in the world of Islam with its relevance to all branches of fine arts and other fields of science. Different genres evolved on the basis of different influences in important centres and cities.

With Şeyh Hamdullah, the Art of Calligraphy enjoyed the greatest development in history. Regarded as the starting point of Art of Ottoman Calligraphy, this new genre came to be known as ‘Şeyh Hamdullah Genre’ and substituted the approach of Yakut.
After the period of Şeyh Hamdullah, the relevant developments took place within the Ottoman culture and civilization. In this period, Muhakkak and Reyhani writings were replaced by Sülüs and Nesih writings, while Tevki writing did not find much use.

Again in the same period, the approach of Ahmet Karahisari, one of the greatest masters of celi writing, continued to be effective until the XIX Century when celi writing was discontinued.  

In the late XVII Century, the art of calligraphy became even more perfect with the works of Hafız Osman (1642-1698).
After Hafız Osman, the highest aesthetic value was granted to Sülüs-Nesih writing by Mehmet Şevki Efendi (1829-1887) and to celi-Sülüs writing by Mustafa Rakım Efendi (1757-1826).

First used in the reign of Fatih Sultan Mehmet, Talik calligraphy ornamented the scripts of works of architecture in its finest form in the hands of Yesari Mehmet Esad and his son, Mustafa İzzet. 

Completing its development in the XIX Century, celi writing reached its peak with Kadıasker Mustafa İzzet (1801-1876), Şefik Bey (1819-1880) and the last Celi artist of the last century, Sami Bey (1838-1912) (2). Today, in all Islamic countries and communities with artistic traditions, artists involved in the Art of Calligraphy still follow this genre.

Forms of Writing;

Kufi; a geometrical form of writing composed of straight lines and edges.

Sülüs: a form of writing with a round characteristic, which forms the basis of calligraphy. Sülüs Samples
Celi Sülüs: the word, ‘celi’ refers to oversized patterns in the art of calligraphy. Celi sülüs was mostly used in large areas in works of agriculture.

Nesih: a form of writing applied by totally rounding all edges, which was used in religious books and especially Qurans in Islamic writing culture. Nesih Samples

Muhakkak: an oblique version of Sülüs writing with long and wide horizontal parts. Most of its letters are cursive.   Muhakkak Samples 

Rikaa: an edentate, round and curved version of Nesih writing. Most of its letters are cursive. Rikaa Samples

Tevki: a form of writing with no gaps between words as a fast writing for ratification and signature.

Talik: characterized by oblique lines, vivid and fluent with letters and connections of varying thickness. Talik Samples 

For more information see...

    Kapat
 

(1)  Birth and progses of calligraphy *see*
Source; Fevzi Günüç, Mevlana Müzesi Levhalar kataloğu, Kültür Bakanlığı, Konya 1999
     
Nihat Çetin, İslam Hat Sanatının Doğuşu ve Gelişmesi, İslam Kültür Mirasında Hat Sanatı, Ankara 1992
      Muammer Ülker, Başlangıcından Günümüze Türk Hat Sanatı, T.İş Bankası, Ankara 1987
      Necib Asım, Orhon Abideleri, İstanbul 1941 
      Namık Orhun, Eski Türk Yazıtları, İstanbul 1936
      Bahaeddin Öğel, İslamiyetten Önce Türk Kültür Tarihi Orta Asya Kaynak ve Buluntularına Göre, Ankara 1988
      H.Baltacıoğlu, Türklerde Yazı Sanatı, Türk ve İslam Sanatları Ens. Yay.,Ankara 1958
      Ali Alpaslan, Osmanlı Hat Sanatı Tarihi, Yapı Kredi Yayınları, İst. 2004    
      Ali Alpaslan, İslam Yazı Çeşitleri 5,Divani, Celi Divani, Rik’a, Sanat Dünyamız,S.35, İstanbul 1986
      Nurullah Berk, İslam Yazısında Plastik İfade, Ankara Ünv. İlahiyat Fak. Dergisi,S.1-2
      Hüseyin Kutlu, Hüsn-i Hat, Hz. Mevlana’nın 724. Vuslat Yılı, Konya 1977
      Zeki Velidi Togan, Umumi Türk Tarihine Giriş,En Eski Devirlerden 16.Asra Kadar, C.1,İstanbul 1946
      Uğur Derman, Türk Hat Sanatı, Başlangıcından Bugüne Türk Sanatı, İstanbul 1993
      Uğur Derman, Kanuni Devrinde Yazı Sanatımız, Ankara 1970
      Uğur Derman, Celi Divani’nin Tekamülüne Dair, Tarih Boyunca Paleografya ve Diplomatik Semineri Bildirileri, İstanbul 1998
      Uğur Derman, Celi Yazılar, İlgi,S.29, İstanbul 1980
      Uğur Derman, Türk Sanatında Murakkalar, İlgi, S.32, İstanbul 1981
      Uğur Derman, Yazı Sanatında Kıt’alar, İlgi, S.30, İstanbul 1980
      Uğur Derman, Yazı Sanatımızda Hilye-i Saadet, İlgi, S.28, İstanbul 1979
      M.Hüsrev Subaşı, Edebiyat ve Hat Sanatımızda Hilye Geleneği, IX Uluslar arası Türk Sanatları Kongresi III, Ankara 1991     
      Nihat Boydaş, İslam Yazısında Plastik Elemanlar, Yedi İklim, İstanbul 1995
      Şevket Rado, Türk Hattatları, İstanbul Trz.
      Oktay Aslanapa, Türk Sanatı El Kitabı, İnkilap, İstanbul
      Ayşe PARMAN and ISSAM el-Said,.Geometic Concepts İn Islamıc Art. VVorld of İslam Festival Publishing Company Ltd. London, 1976
      Mubahat  KÜTÜKOGLU, S. Osmanlı Belgelerinin Dili, (Diplomatik). İstanbul, Kubbealtı Neşriyatı, 1994
      Mustafa el-HABIB. Yazı ile Mimarînin Kaynaşması Görüş, sy. 12 ,1977
      Muhittin SERİN, Hat Sanatı ve Meşhur Hattatlar, İstanbul, Kubbealtı Neşriyatı, 1999
      Muhiddin Serin, Hat Sanatı ve Meşhur Hattatlar, Kubbealtı Akademisi Kültür ve Sanat Vakfı, İstanbul 2003
     Yasin SAFADI, Islamic Calligraphy. London.Thames and Hudson, 1978
      ‘Hat Sanatında Osmanlı Devri’, İslâm Kültür Mirasında Hat San'atı, İstanbul, IRCICA, 1992,
      "Celi Yazılar", İlgi, sy. 29, Yıl. 1, 1980
      "Kanunî Devri Yazı San'atımız", Kanunî Armağanı, Türk Tarih Kurumu, Ankara, 1970
      "Osmanlı Hat Sanatı", Osmanlı Ansiklopedisi, c.XI, Ankara, Yeni Türkiye Yayınları, 1999


 (2) For more information about artists calligraphy *see*      Ankara 1996
      Ali Haydar Bayat,  Hüsn-i Hat  Bibliyografyası ,Kültür Bak. Yay. Ankara. 1990
      Ali Alparslan, İbn Mukle’nin İslam Yazısına Hizmetleri, Tarih Boyunca Paleografya ve Diplomatik Semineri Bildirileri, İstanbul 1988   
      Uğur Derman, Yazı Tarihimizde Hattat İmza ve Secereleri, VII Türk Tarih Kongresi II, Ankara 1973
      Uğur Derman, 'Şeyh Hamdullah' , Osmanlı Ans. Cilt. 2 sh. 3 Ağaç Yay. İstanbul,1993     
      Uğur Derman, Büyük Bir Hat Sanatkarımız! Sami Efendi, Hayat Tarih Dergisi, C.1 İstanbul 1969
      Uğur Derman, Hafız Osman’ın Yazı Sanatımızdaki Yeri, Hayat, S.52, İstanbul 1967
      Uğur Derman, Edebi ve hattı ile Ali Alparslan, YKY
      Süheyl ünver, Hattat Kadıasker Mustafa İzzet, hayatı ve Eserleri, 50 sanat sever Serisi, No.11,İstanbul 1954
      Melek Celal,  Şeyh Hamdullah ,Kenan Mal. İstanbul 1946
      Muhittin Serin, Hattat Aziz Efendi, Kubbealtı Akademisi Kültür ve Sanat Vakfı, İstanbul 1999
      Muhittin Serin, Hattat Şeyh Hamdullah Hayatı, Talebeleri, Eserleri, Akademisi Kültür ve Sanat Vakfı, İstanbul 1992
      Muhiddin Serin, 'Hat Sanatında Şeyh Hamdullah' ,Kubbealtı Akademi Mecmuası, S.13, 1985
      Muhiddin Serin, Hulusi Efendi'nin Ta'lik Meşk Murakkaı
      Muhiddin Serin, Kemal Batanay, Türk Hat Ustadları 5
      Muhiddin Serin, Şevki Efendi Sülüs & Nesih Meşki,
      Nihat Çetin, Yakut Musta’sımi, İA,C.13 , İstanbul 1986
      Ekrem Hakkı Ayverdi, Fatih Devri Hattatları ve Hat Sanatı, İstanbul 1953  
      Emin Mahmud-Kemal İnal, Son Hattatlar, MEB. İstanbul 1970
      Hilal Kazan, Dünden Bugüne Hanım Hattatlar / Famale Calligraphes Past & Present,  İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyesi Yayını
      Hüseyin Sıdkı KÖKER,." Mustafa İzzet Efendi" Selâmet, sy.12 (Mart-1963
       SELAHADDİN el-Müneccid. Yakut el-Musta'sımı,. Beyrut, Daru'l-kitabi'l-cedıd 1985
      " Hat Dehalarımızdan Şeyh Hamdullah", Hayat Mecmuası sy. 47 (1969),
      " Hafız Osman'ın Yazı Sanatımızdaki Yeri",  Hayat Mecmuası sy. 52 (1967),
      "Hattat Mustafa Rakım Efendi'nin İstanbul'daki Mezartaşı Kitabeleri, AD Art Dekor, S. 87, 2000
       ‘Yakut Muşta'sımî’, İslâm Ansiklopedisi (İA), c. XII, İstanbul Milli Eğitim Bakanlığı, 1986 ,
      Ömer Faruk Dere, 'Hafız Osman Efendi',

 

 

 
     
 
 
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