Journal of Ottoman Calligraphy

Lectures & Editorials on Calligraphy

RAKIM: ‘Mustafa Rakim” (1757 – 1826)

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Mustafa Rakim occupies a most important place in the history of Turkish calligraphy. Mustafa Rakım was born in Ünye, Ordu in 1171/1758. In his childhood he studied sciences. At the same time, he was doing hüsn-i hat with his brother. When he was 12, he had his caliograph diploma. That year, he wrote a celi sülüs graveyard inscription. Through that inscription, it is seen that he likes different combinations. He had always been after searching noveltıes and differences. However, his art had unıquely developed after the death of his brother, in 1221/1806. After this data, there had been a progress in Rakım’s art. After 1230/1815 Rakım produced excellent productions both in tuğra of Sultan and in celi sülüs.

Rakım was at the same time a figurıst. He found the aesthetic meaurement of the letters in celi sülüs. He gave them a nice shape that could be seen according to their height. Apart from, he managet to join the letters in combination. While doing these, he did not give harm to the organization and the proportion of the letters. İn Sultan Tuğras, he gave an aesthetic of letters and reorganized the combinations. All other caliograps followed him. Other who don’t follow him were all forgotten. It is not Knovn if he had a tutor in talik, but his craft in celi sülüs helped him to produce works in talik as well. However, his writing has never become well known, when compared to Yesarizade. Rakım, who produced nesih works in Hafız Osman’s way, has become well-known by his work in celi sülüs and tuğra.

The tomb of Rakım Efendi who died in 1241/1826 is currently in İstanbul, at Fatih, next to Karagümrük Atikalipaşa Mosque. In his tomb his son, and his pupil Haşim Efendi is burried an well.

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Written by calligrapher

March 25, 2007 at 5:36 am

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