The Art of Arabic Calligraphy

Fig. 11. Steps and Shadows wide 2, by Mamoun Sakkal (2014), Archival digital print on canvas.

Two lines of Arabic letters intersect through the ingenious use of an oblique grid. The text repeats the shahada, stating the Islamic profession of faith: “There is no God but God; Muhammad is His Messenger.” The illusion of three-dimensional space is achieved by visual playfulness contrasting light and dark, here reproduced digitally. Representing the spatial dimension – by means other than linear perspective – has a long history in painting in Islamic lands.

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