Journal of Ottoman Calligraphy

Lectures & Editorials on Calligraphy

Mustafa Râkim and Features of Spectacular Writing Style with Celî Sülüs School

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Introduction

Spectavular writing style having meaning of “obvious, big, large ” in dictionary is a name given to Large from of writing style in calligraphy art written by a thicken pencil than calligraphic model writing pencil. For example,sülüs writing is normally written by 2,5 mm pencil, when this subgect measure is exceeded then, writing becomes celî.And when pencil thickness reaches to three times, now writing to becomes spectacular, large writing style . Writing written by measure between Large Letters and spectacular writing is given name of Arabic script style . In addition spectacular, obvious word expresses character not a style of writing.1

Although there is no difference between structures of. Large Letters and spectacular writing style Letters have more mature structure. Since Letters become largger, then structures and details become very well distinct and mature. By referring to this point, great calligrapher of spectacular writing style , Sâmi Efendi (1838- 1912) said that “As lang . as spectacular writing is not written then, secrets of calligraphy can not be” understood. 2 Thinness- thickness in spectacular writing style with Large Letters as well as distance space between Letters are adjusted in accordance with distance and location. For this reason, spectacular writing style with Large Letters requires great skill and ability.3

Birth and Development of Spectacular writing style with Celî Sülüs

During first years of Islam religion two different writing styles with corners with which Quran,epitaph and important documents had been written and written and writing style with round (circular, spherical) character where soft and curved lines dominate used in daily affairs and works.4

Form of writing with round character written by thick pencil (pen) in which writing had found essential development path is known by name of spectacular writing style by pencil. In actual fact ,this name had been given to writing style written by thick pencil in both characters during that period5. Name of great, illustrious has been converted into name of large in the Ottoman Calligraphy Art- School, however, there is no relationship between spectacular, illustrious writing at the beginning . And the Ottoman Spectacular writing style with Large Letters.6

In writing with soft and round character in which Calligraphy art has shown real development, the most distinct and obvious development had ocurred during Omayyad (661-750) period. 7 Kutbetül- Muharrir who had lived during end of Omayyads and first years of Abbasids, had invented “turmar” writing style with Large Letters of which pencil tip width is not known in specific.

İbn Mukle who lived during first period of Abbasids (750-1258) and was minister (vizier) and at the same time. Calligrapher, had bound letter time. To certain specific measures. 9 İbnü´l- Bevvab( d. 413/1022), who came one century after İbn Mukle and representing second stage of his school , had improved writing of İbn Mukle and made it more beautiful and attractive . 10 Although we do not have any specimen of spectacular writing style with Large Letters of İbnü- l- Bevvab, Ebu-l- Mecd Cemaleddin Yakut b. Abdullah el- Musta´simi (d . 698/1298). Had studied and exmined writings of İbn Mukle and İbnü-l- Bevvab for long time and made writing to have gained a new attitude. The greatest renovation made by Yakut was cutting pencil tip in curved manner which had been cut in flat manner till that time . 11

Writing style with Large Letters was in a simple form both in Letter structure and arrangement of Letters of including Seljuks before the Ottomans . Writing style with Large Letters of Seljuks had continued its influence and effect till Mehmet II, the conqueror period in Ottomans, and effect related to arrangement of Letters (pilling of Letters) had continued till XIII rd century but , there were some improvements from time to time.12 Attempt was made in spectacular writing style with Large Letters to catch success as in aklam-l Sitte,and although Letters were simple at the beginning as com[aring with Letters of XIX.Century ,it is immediately noted that a search has been made for beauty comparing with Seljuks Letters of writing style with Large Letters.

First important and fine specimens of the Ottoman spectacular writing style with Large Letters are seen during period of Mehamet II, the conqueror. Yahya Sufi and his son, Ali b. Yahya Sufi are famous Calligraphers in spectacular writing style with Large Letters during period elapsed till Râklm period Fatih mosque and Imperial gate of Topkep] palace inscriptions on left door seating written by Ali Sufi 15 , are without doubt, are seen to the most beautiful specimens of spectacular writing style with Large Letters till Râklm period. 16 A perfect level had been achieved to have been caught as letter structure in these inscriptions, besides Large letter inscriptions and naskhi writing style works, Sheik Hamdullah being foundan of the Ottoman School in calligraphy, Beyazid Mosques by writing style with Large Letters (celi sülüs).17 Can be considered as specimens of development period of the Ottoman spectacular writing style with Large Letters. However, these spectacular writing style with Large Letters of Sheik, had remained very simple as per concept of spectacula writing style with Large Letters of subsequent periods . 18 Ahmed Karahisari being representative of Yâkut School after Sheik in the Ottoman Calligraphy School had been more successful than Sheik in spectacular writing style with Large Letters and had been able to insert Letters into sentence in fine manner. 19 Although there existed no sharpness and easiness gained by writing style with Large Letters later on in Letters of Karahisarl, but esthetics proportion had been substantially attained.

Influence of Seljuks spectecular writing style with Large Letters can be seen as arrangement of Letters in writing style of Hasan Celebi who has been accepted as the most strong and influencial representative of Ahmet Karahisari School and who had written inscriptions on sülymaniye Mosque (excluding dome) and Edirne Selimiye Mosque by other Spectacular Character as Style,with Large Letters . 20 Although Letters bear Ottoman Character as Style, but arrangement of letter had been influenced by Seljuks writing style,. Vertical Letters had been put side by side . Although there existed sharpness and improvement in Letters comparing with previous specimens, but simple form and bluntness in Letters still continue.

On the other hand, Hâfiz Osman who had became a sample of RÂKIN who will make great changes in Spectacular writing style with Large Letters. When writing style of Hâfiz Osman has been examined and Studied , it is seen that besides simple form of Letters , in arrangement of letter. Letters had been piled up on certain places .

Great success had been gained in Ottoman writing style pertaining to our examined periods in spectacular writing style with. Large Letters and very beautiful and successful works had been produced. During this period no particuar marks had been used or had been used in small amount. Besides Letters, structure was very simple and in appropriate manner.

His Life

He was born in 1171/1758 in Ordu/ Ünye. He came to Istanbul when he was a small child and Learned Large Letter and naskhi style writing from his older brother İsmail Zühdi (death 1221/1805) in addition to his studies in scientific. He received his certificate in 1183/1769. when he received his certificate “Râkim ” name was given to him. He learned writing style from from III. Derviş Ali. In spite of all difficulties and problems . Mustafa Râkim had achieved to have realized reform and changes which will deeply effect and infulence subsequent artisans after him by forming “Scholl” in spectacular writing style with large Lettery stone inscription on çelebi Mustafa Reşid Efendi in Eyüp are his most important works Râkim Efendi who died in 1241/1826, buried in tomb across Atikalipaşa Mosque in Fatih – Karagümmrük.21

When spectacular writing style with Large Letters , have been studied and examined from viewpoing of Letters and arrangement of Letters from the beginning especially of Seljuk, principalities , Ottoman periods , besides bluntness and simplicity of Letters, it is immediately noted , that pencil did not have any writing features. Writing style had continued with these features during the Ottoman period . In spite of the fact there existed corrections in Letters to be considered important comparing wish preveious peroprtion of Letters (measure, proportion) had not been caught till Râim. Proportion of Letters beauty of arrangement of Letters, fineness of pencil movements can be clearly seen in works of Râkim belonging to especially to his maturity period. This situation which could not be seen during previous periods is the greatest feacture brought by RÂKIM to writing style with Large Letters.

We can gather changes made by Mustafa Râkim23 in spectacular writing style with Large Letters under the following headings:

1- He had improved structure of Letters.

2- He had caught ideal measure between letter thickness and pencil thickness.

3- He had achieved extraordinary success in arrangement of Letters.

Calligraphers could not achieved proper proportion as structure in writing style with Large Letters till period of Mustafa Râkim. Even Standard could not be obtained in writing of same letter. And writing could only written as thick. 31Spectacular writing style with Large Letters could not be dealt by itself till period of Mehmet II, the conqueror because it had been seen as decoration element in architecture as well. For this reason, success could not be achieved in degree of aklam –l- sitte (the six styles of writing ) in writing style with Large Letters both from viewpoints of Letter structur and arrangement of Letters.

Râfiz Osman from viewpoing of beauty of Letters.24 The following expression of the Calligrapher Sâkim in spectacular writing style with Large Letters is in nature to veritfy that judgement. “If you could enLarge Letters of Hâfiz Osman you could find spectacular writing style with Large Letters of Râkim in smaller letters, then you could find writing style of Hâfiz Osman.

By improving structure of Letters, Râkim had achieved to have caught harmony between letter thickness and pencil thickness. Râkim had applied writing style with Large Letters with success by enlargement of letters of Hâfiz Osman. 25 Mustafa Râkim had studied and examined very carefully writing style of Hâfiz Osman and had applied structure and standing beauties of Letters of that master to spectacular writing style with large letters. He had achieved domination of pencil in writing style and so the most beautiful, ideal measures of letters had been attained . For this reason, letters of spectacular writing style with Large Letters of RÂKIM have lively, active , vigorous structure as in cases of writing styles of sheik and especially Hâfiz Osman.26

Inscription of Nakşidil Tomb dated 1234/1819 being works of maturity period of Râkim especially verse written by Large Letter writing style on Nakşidil public Fountain is an evidence about how letters had become softer in his hands.

When spectacular writing style with Large Letters belonging to previous centuries is compared with letters, word groups and arrangements of RÂKIM, then , liveliness, greatness, grandeur, beauty of arrangement of letters can be better seen and observed , Râkim had created proper proportion and vigor, liveliness in letters in spectacular writing style with Large Letters which ware blunt and in appropriate proportion before him and arrangement of letters had been saved from this organization and dispersion. Another feature of letters of RÂKIM is that they are in thickness which can be seen easily from far distance letters hod gained beauty, fineness measure as per place to be written or to be hung. 27

Râkim had improved structures of lathers first of in all in writing style with Large Letters and found out harmony between letter thickness and pencil thickness . It is possible to see and observe right , beauty and inveliness ,vigor of pencil movenents in letters of Râkim writing style.

Râkim had used in the most beautiful manner letters inside arrangement of letters and distributed letters in balanced form being suitable for display.

Râkim who had constituted school by reform conducted by him in spectacular writing style with Large Letters and put forth his behavior and attitude in spectacular writing style with Large Letters after 1221/1806 which is year of death of his older brother. After subject date, Râkim´s spectacular writing style with Large Letters had entered into a fast improvement path years of 1230/1815-1234/1819 are maturity period of Râkim and he had given his most beautiful work between these dates. The data of 1234 / 1819 is the data when letter and arrangement perfectness was at peak level. Fatih Nakşidil tomb inscriptions, Eyüp, Çelebi Mustafa Reşid Efendi cemetery store inscriptions written by him during this period are the most important works of his maturity period.

Are Life of Râkim can be divided into three sections in general, namely, beginning years till 1221/1806, improvement and development period between 1221/1806-1230/1815 and maturity period after 1230/1815. As you would appreciate that this classification has been made for the purpose of forming an idea in general as a result of classification of Râkim´s works. Certainly, these dates are related to previous periods and post- periods. 28

Firsty Râkim used to write writing style with Large Letters by making squares method, but he had written directly by cane pencil and watery black ink his Nakşidil tomp band inscription with 3 cm pencil tip thickness during his last period through his gained faculty and skill. It is possible to see this at present time. In writing molds maintained in Istanbul Turkish- Islamic Works Museum .

Arrangement of letters by Râkim is in front line by structure and standing positions of letter.29 In addition there was no certain method applied at the beginning of his art life esthetic improvement of early writing style of Râkim could not be adapted to improvement of early writing style of Râkim could not be adapted to improvement made in spectacular writing style with large letters. After 1230/1815, now , letters in writing style of Râkim started to show themselves nearby their respective structures, but Râkim had observed and complied with usage of letters in their proper arrangement and places.

When evaluation is made of Râkim Efendi had achieved aspect which could in doing so. Mustafa Râkim Efendi had achieved aspect which could not be realized in spectacular writing style with Large Letters till XIX.

The century , especially, he had applied liveliness of writing style of Hâfiz Osman to spectacular writing style with large letters. Also , he was poineer of the ottoman calligraphers in arrangement of letters. He had eliminated line and form deformation in imperial ciphers of the sultans and so created esthetics. Râkim having “Art School” in spectacular writing style with large letters, had been accepted and recognized as only Master by artisans who had followed him.

FOOTNOTES

1M.Uğur DERMAN “Calligraphy” The Turkish Encyclopedia (TE), volume XIX , İstanbul, Ministry of National Education , 1971, p. 52; DERMAN, “Spectacular , Writing Style with Large Letters” İlgi , number 29 (May 1980), Year 1 p. 30 : Ali ALPARSLAN, “Islamic Writing Styles: 3 Spectacular writing style with Large Letters” Our Art World Number 33 (1985) , p. 27: M. Uğur DERMAN, “The Ottoman period in Calligraphy Art”Calligraphy Art in Islamic Culture Heritage (CAICH),Istanbul, Islam History , Art and Culture Research Center (IRCICA), 1992, page 35; Ali ALPARSLAN “Spectacular Writing Style” Religiosity Foundation Islam Encyclopedia of Turkey (DIA), Istanbul Religiosity Foundation of Turkey 1993 , Volume VII, p.265; Muhittin SERİN. Calligraphy Art and Famous Calligraphers (Calligraphy Art), Istanbul, kubbealti Publication, 1999 , p. 89; Ali ALPARSLAN, The Ottoman Calligraphy Art History, Istanbul Yapi kredi Publications, 1999, p. 105.

2DERMAN, TE,p .58 ,ALPARSLAN, The Ottoman Calligraphy Art History, p. 105-106.

3DERMAN,İlgi, p.30; M.Uğur DERMAN “Epitaph of Yeni Cami Public Fountain “Lâle,number 4(December 1986) p.17;ALPARSLAN,”Spectacular writing style with Large Letters”DİA,v.VII, P. 265.

4ÇETİN, Nihad M.- “Birth and Development of Islamic Calligraphy Art (Till the end of Yakut period)”. Calligraphy Art in Islamic Culture Heritage (CAICH). Istandbul, IRCICA, 1992 ,p. 17

5Çetin, CAICH, p. 31

6Ali ALPARSLAN, “Importance of Architectural Buildings from viewpoint of Calligraphy Art ” Boğaziçi (Bosphorus ) University (Humanities and Social Sciences) Magazine . Number 4-5, 1976-1977 p.3; Çetin,CAICH, p.30.

7Çentin, CAICH, p.20-21

8pencip tip width of tumar writing style is 24 horse tail in comparison with spectacular writing style with Large Letters of which pencil tip width is not specific (of common work horse). And this is equal approximately to 15 mm in measurements of present time ad minimum measure in spectacular writing style with Large Letters is this one. Writing style in one- third measure of that measure is named as “writing style of Arbic script with medium- Large Letters (see, El-Kalkasandi) Ahmed b.Ali). Subhu´l- A´şa, III, Beirut, 1987 , p. 54-61, ÇETİN, CAICH, p.22-23; A;PARSLAN, Islamic History ,p. 450-460 ; M Uğur DERMAN, “Development of Spectacular writing style with Large Letters from the Seljuks to the Ottomans” , IV.National Seljuk Culture and Civilization Seminar Circulars,25-26 April-1994 (A Separate publication). Konya Seljuk University, Seljuk Research Center ,1995 , p.9; ALRARSLAN, The Ottoman Calligraphy Art History , p. 105.

9Adolf GROHMANN, Arabische paleography (I teil), Wien ,1967, Islam el-said and Ayşe parman,Geometric Concepts in Islamic Art, London, World of Islam Festival Publishing Company Ltd 1976,p. 16;Islam el-said and Ayşe parman, Geometric Concepts in Islamic Art,Londo , World of Islan Festival Publishing Company Ltd 1976,p. 131; Ali ALPARSLAN “Servuce of İbn Mukle to Islamic Inscription “, Paleography and Diplomatic Seminer Throughout Tistors,30- April 12- May –1986 Circulars, Istanbul, Istanbul University . Faculty of Art , 1986,p.11; ÇETİN, CAICH, p.24; ALPARSL, Islamic History,p. 463; Abdülkerim ÖZAYKIN, “İbn Mukle”, DIA, v. xx, p. 212;M.Uğur DERMAN “Calligraphy Art in the Ottoman Turks” The Ottoman Encyclopedia, Volume XI , Ankara Yeni Turkiye Publications, 1999 , p. 19; Muhittin SERİN, “The Ottoman, p. 27.

10 Mustakimzade Süleyman Sa´deddin. Tuhfe-i Hattatin, Istanbul , Turkish History Council Works , 1928 , p. 331-332; Habib . Calligraphy and Calligrapers, Istanbul, 1305 p. 44 ( There exists “kaside-i raiyye İbn Bevvab maa Şerh “poem written by İbn Bevvab between pages 45-48 about calligraphy and pencil (pen) ; A. Süheyl ÜNBER, life of Calligrapher Ali BİN HİLAL, Istanbul, Yeni Laboratuvar publications, 1958, p. 5; Muhitti SERİN “İbnü´- Bevvab”DIA ,v. XX , p. 534-535.

11Nefeszde, p. 41-43; Suyolcuzade , p. 8; Mustakimzade, p. 575-576; Habib p. 51-54; Selahaddin el-MÜNECCİD, Uakut el-Mustta´simi, Beirut, Daru´l- Kutubi´l- Cedid ,1985, p. 17; Nihad M. ÇETİN, ” Yakut Musta´simi” Islamic Eccyclopedia (İA) volume XIII , Istanbul , The Ministry of National Education , 1986, p. 352-357; ÇETİN, CAICH, p. 27; ALPARSLAN, Islamic History, p. 464.

12 Ali ALPARSLAN , “Islamic Writing Styles: 3 Celî Sülüs ” Our Art World , number 33, 1985 , p. 29; ALPARSLAN , The Ottoman Calligraphy Art History , p. 107.

13 Ekrem Hakki AYBERDİ. Calligraphers of Mehmet II, the canqueror period . Istanbul , Istanbul Istanbul Conquest Association 1953 , p. 19; ERBAS, Aynur. Inscriptions and Spectacular Writing style with Large Letters of Istanbul Mosques reached from Mehmet II the Conqueror and II nb Bayazid period till our present time. Istanbul , Marmara University Social Sciences Institution, Unpublished Master Degree Thesis, 1990 . p. 98.

14 The Quran. Hicr, 45-48.

15 The Quran. Saff, 13

16 ALPARSIAN, Humanity and Social Sciences , 7 (In respect with inscriptions (epitaphs ) and their reading , see , Abdurrahman ŞEREF “Topkai plaace Imperial “Istanbul, Fetih Cemiyeti publication, Istanbul, 1953 , p. 143, 146, 150, 303,310,315; SERİN,Calligraphy Art , History , p.33-34 )

17In respect with inscriptions and their respective readings, see, Muhittin SERİN, Inscriptions (epitaphs) of Istanbul Mosques from Mehmet II, the Conqueror and II nd Beyazid periods till our present time p.40-45, 46-48,73-77.

18M.Uğur DERMAN “Şeyh Hamdullah Being One of Our Calligraphy Genius”Hayat (Life Magazine), number 47, 1965 ,p.23; DERMAN, CAICH,p. 191; ALPARSLAN. Humanity and Social Sciences , p. 7; ALPARSLAN, The Ottoman Calligraphy Art History , p. 41.

19M. Uğur DERMAN, Turks in Islamic Art , Ankara, Yapi Kredi Bank Publications, 1974 , p. 54; ALPARSLAN, Famous Turkish Calligraphy , p.54;DERMAN , Our Writing Art During Süleman, The Magnificent , period , p. 273; SERİN, Our Calligraphy Art , p. 109-113.

20For more detailed information , regarding to life of Mustafa Râkim Efendi, see , Şânizâde Mehmed Ataullah, Şanizade History I-Ceride-i Havadis printing House, 1973,p. 213-214, Ahmed Lütfi- History of Lütfi (I) Istanbul Amir printing House 1292,p. 189-190. Mehmed Süreyya, The Ottoman registration (II). Istanbul 1308, p. 365 Ahmed Cevdet, History of Cevdet (XII), Istanbul, 1309,p. 141; A. Süheyl ÜNVER “The Calligrapher Mustafa Râkim Efendi, Istanbul, 50 Art poets Series –3 1953, p. 2; Haluk Y. ŞEHSUBAROĞLU, “Calligrapher Mustafa Râkim” Cumhuriyet Newspaper , 12-09.1955 and sebilülmin Volume IX , number 204 (1955) p.58-59; İbmülemin Mahmud Kemal İNAL, The last Calligraphers. Istanbul, The Ministry of National Education , 1970 p. 273-289; M. Uğur DERMAN, Calligraphy art in Islamic Culrure Heritage ( CAICH), Istanbul, IRCICA, 1992, `P. 204, Ali ALPARSLAN, The Ottoman Calligraphy Art History , p. 79 , 117-121; Muhittin SERİN, Calligraphy Art and Famous Calligraphers. Istanbul, Kubbealti publication, 1999 , p. 133-138; Süleyman BERK, Calligrapher Mustafa Râkm`s Esthetic To Celî Sülüs, Erzurum, Atatürk University Social Sciences Institution (Unpublished Doctorate Thesis), p. 9-58)

21In respect structure characteristics of Râkim Letters, see BERK, Calligrapher Mustafa Râkim´s Esthetic To Celî Sülüs, p. 79-82.

22Derman , CAICH, p. 34; M.Uğur DERMAN , Turkish Art from the Beginning Till present Tire, Ankara, Türkiye Iş Bankasi Cultural publications , 1993 ,p. 385.

23İsmayil Hakki BALTACIOĞLU, Calligraphy Art in Turks, Mersin , The Ministry of Culture, 1993, p. 45; DERMAN, Turkish Art from the Beginning Till Present Time , p. 385.

24BALTACIOĞLU, Calligraphy Art in Turks, p. 46, DERMAN , CAICH,p.35 Ali ALPARSLAN, Famous Turkish Calligraphers, Ankara, the Ministry of Culture , 1992, s . 90 ; ALPARSLAN, “Islamic Writing Art”. Great Islam History from Birth till our present time. Volume XIV. Istanbul, Çağ publications 1993, p. 441-522 491-491; ALPARSLAN, The Ottoman Calligraphy Art History, p . 118

25DERMAN, CAICH, p. 35, ALPARSLAN, Islamic History, p. 491-492.

26İ. Hakki BALTACIOĞLU, Turkish plastics Arts. Ankara, The Ministry of Notional Education 1971, p. 117.

27Ahmed Süreyya, “Sanayi- i Nefise in Ottomans , Ezcümle Hutut- I bedia”,Sirat-i Mustakim, number 174 (14Muharren 1329) p. 282; Ahmet Süreyya (Saltuk) son of the calligrapher , Hasan RIZA Efendi has expressed characteristics of spectacular, cursive writing style of RÂKIM in four articles in this article written by hem. These are briefly , plumpness of Letters , movement of Letters and mutual proportion of Letters and harmony of arrangement of Letters.

28 In respect with collective evaluation of determined works of Râkim , see, BERK, Calligrapher Mustafa Răkim´s Esthetic To Celî Sülüs.

29 BALTACIOĞLU, Calligraphy Art in Turks , p. 52-53.

Photograph ©HAT SAN’ATI Tarihçe, Malzeme ve Örnekler, Istanbul. http://ismek.ibb.gov.tr/portal/yayinlarimiz.asp

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Written by calligrapher

March 26, 2007 at 12:48 pm

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