Smithsonian Freer Gallery Sackler Gallery National Museum of Asian Art Gallery Guide Arts of the Islamic World
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This folio is notable for its light blue tinted parchment. Several other early Korans use colored parchment, a practice that may have been inspired by Byzantine models. The colorful horizontal band across the folio serves a dual function: it indicates the beginning of a new chapter and relieves the starkness of the calligraphy. The text includes the final verses of chapter 21, entitled "The Prophet," which provides a history of the prophets, including Abraham and Noah. The next chapter, "The Pilgrimage," takes its name from a description of the pilgrimage to Mecca, one of the principal duties of every Muslim.

Folio from a Koran
Sura 21, verses 111–12; sura 22, verses 1-2
Probably North Africa, 9th century
Ink, color, and gold on parchment
28.3 x 39.8 cm Purchase F1945.16b

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