Allahu Veliyyu't



Kelime-i Tevhid


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While the new era which he initiated in calligraphy was still in full swing a century on, Ismail Zühdi (?-1220/1806) and his brother Mustafa Râkim (1171-1241/1757-1826) developed their own styles inspired by the finest of Hâfiz Osman's work. Although sülüs had been used to produce masterful work, its thicker-lined form celî sülüs had failed to achieve comparable aesthetic quality. Indeed, the celî form was often execrable, and even the celî of Hâfiz Osman was not worthy of an artist of such calibre. However, at that time, no one had been able to do better. It was with Mustafa Râkim that, as in the case of sülüs and nesih, celî sülüs achieved a superlative excellence in terms both of the characters and composition that had never before been matched in any calligraphic style. He achieved this by applying the manner of Hâfiz Osman in sülüs to celî. Mustafa Râkim also improved the imperial tugras, which he carried to ultimate perfection. That is why the celî sülüs script and the tugra can usefully be classified into the "pre-Râkim" and "post-Râkim" periods.

Another master of celî and successor of Râkim was Sâmi Efendi (1253-1330/1838-1912), who applied the sülüs characters of Ismail Zühdi to celî, contributing a new manner to Râkim's school. The style of his numerals and the vowel signs and diacritical marks used in calligraphic istif or compositions is outstanding. Calligraphers such as his contemporary Haci Ârif Bey of Çarsanba (?-1310/1892), Nazif Bey (1262-1331/1846-1945), Ismail Hakki Altunbezer (1289-1355/1873-1946), Mâcid Ayral (1308-1318/1891-1961), Halim Özyazici (1315-1384/1898-1964) and Hâmid Aytaç (1309-1402/1891-1982) continued to follow, or sought to follow, this style of celî.

Mahmud Celâleddin (?-1245/1829), who was a contemporary of Râkim, adopted the manner of Hâfiz Osman in his sülüs and nesih, and by adapting it according to his own taste achieved a confident, fluid style of writing. However, when writing celî, his style becomes stiff and awkward. Although the great calligrapher and musician Kadiasker Mustafa Izzet Efendi (1216-1293/180 1-1876), his pupil Sefik Bey (1235-1297/1819-1818), Abdullah Zühdi Efendi (?-1296/1879), Ali Efendi (?-1320/1902) and Muhsinzâde Abdullah Bey (1248-1317/1832-1899) all adopted a style which combined the characteristics of Hâfiz Osman, Celâleddin and Râkim, it was their contemporary Sevki Efendi (1245-1304/1829-1887), inspired by Hâfiz Osman and Râkim, who developed sülüs and nesih to a height of perfection never attained previously and never surpassed since. His pupil Bakkal Ârif (1246-1327/1830-1909), Fehmi (1276-1333/1860-1915), and Kâmil Akdik (1278-1360/1861-1941) who trained under Sâmi Efendi are the most eminent representatives of this style. Seyh Azîzü'r-Rifâi (1288-1353/1871-1934) who studied calligraphy under Ârif Efendi made a major contribution to the spread of the "Sevki Efendi manner" after he was invited to Egypt, from where the style spread through the Islamic world. Hasan Riza (1265-1338/1849-1920), a member of the "Kadiasker school" and Kayiszâde Hâfiz Osman (?-1311/1894) were the last outstanding calligraphers to write the Koran in nesih script. The dîvânî and celî dîvânî scripts reached their culmination at the end of the 19th century.

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