The beauty of the written word is once again heralded in an incredible project by 33-year-old artist Tünzale Memmedzade. The Azerbaijani painter spent three years painstakingly transcribing the Quran onto sheets of transparent black silk. The result is a beautifully crafted religious text that demonstrates both devotion and patience.
Memmedzade embarked on the project after learning that the Quran had never previously been transcribed on silk. She set to work on 11.4″ x 13″ sheets of delicate silk, using a total of 164 feet for the finished Quran. A little more than three pints of silver and gold ink flow across the pages, with the text based on the version released from the Diyanet, the Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs.
The lavish calligraphy reminds us of the incredible tradition of Islamic art, something which is also being celebrated at the Smithsonian Museum’s Sackler Gallery. As the first major exhibition of Qurans in the United States, The Art of the Qur’an: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts has more than 60 manuscripts on display. On until January 20, 2017, it celebrates the tradition of the intricately written and decorated Quran—a tradition that continues today, as Memmedzade’s project proves.