Haza mim
 

 



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Following the conquest of Istanbul, the Ottoman state rose to heights of achievement not only in the military and political arena, but in the spheres of culture and art. Seyh Hamdullah (833-926/1429-1520), who like his predecessor Ykt (?-698/1298), came from the northern Turkish town of Amasya, began by following and perfecting the style of Ykt. However, encouraged by his patron and student Sultan Bayezid II (lived: 1450-1512), he went on to subject the works of Ykt to aesthetic scrutiny and incorporate his own artistic values, developing a new and original style around 1485. Known as the "Seyh Manner", this brought the Ykt period of Ottoman Turkish calligraphy to a close. Ahmed Karahisri (?-963/1556) revived the Ykt style with unsurpassed brilliance during the age of Sultan Sleyman the Magnificent, but upon his death the style fell into oblivion again. The Karahisri school was inarguably superior in writing cel sls to the Seyh Hamdullah manner, although the latter prevailed.
Of the six scripts inherited from Ykt, sls and nesih, which were especially compatible with Turkish taste, spread rapidly during the Seyh Hamdullah era, and nesih became the only script used to copy the Koran. Due to the paucity of rounded characters and the broad shape of muhakkak and reyhn, these hands were gradually abandoned, until eventually they were used solely as exercises by calligraphers to improve their dexterity. As a result they occur in later years only in murakkaa (writing albums) in which calligraphers practised copying inscriptions. The only exception is the tradition of writing the Besmele (the formula bismillahirrahmanirrahim meaning "in the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful), which has continued to be written in muhakkak to the present day. Rika' evolved into a more appealing form which under the name hatt-i icze was used notably by calligraphers to write their signatures and the diplomas given to calligraphy students. Tevk', however, fell largely into disuse

.Seyh Hamdullah's successors devoted their efforts to imitating their master, and took this to such an extreme that the greatest words of praise a celebrated calligrapher could expect was, "He writes like the Seyh", or to be called, "A second Seyh Hamdullah". This situation continued for over 150 years. At last, in the second half of the 17th century, the light of a new master illuminated the horizon of art in Istanbul. This was Hfiz Osman (1052-1110/1642-1698), who subjected the style of Seyh Hamdullah, whose writing was based on selected aspects of Ykt's work, to a process of elimination, and proceeded to evolve an original manner of his own, characterised by relatively greater purity. The "Seyh style" now made way for that of Hfiz Osman.

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