Sheikh Hamdullah (1436–1520) (Turkish: Şeyh Hamdullah), born in Amasya, Ottoman Empire, was a master of Islamic calligraphy.

Sheikh Hamdullah
Shaykh Hamdullah - Naskh.jpg
Stills for a Qur'an copy in Naskh style script, by Şeyh Hamdullah
Born
Hamdullah

1436
Died1520 (aged 83–84)
Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Known forIslamic calligraphy

Contents

Life and workEdit

Sheikh Hamdullah was born in Amasya, a north-central town in Anatolia. His father, Mustafa Dede, was the Sheik of the Suhreverdi, a group that had migrated to Amasya from Central Asia.[1]

In Amasya, he studied the six scripts under the tutelage of Hayreddin Mar'asi.[2] He learned the traditional method of the old masters, but struggled to reproduce it.[3] While studying, he met Bâyezïd, the son of Sultan Mehmed, the Conqueror who was a fellow student, and the pair became friends. When Bâyezïd assumed the throne in 1481, following his father's death, he invited his friend, Sheikh Hamdullah, to the capital, Istanbul. Hamdullah went on to become a master calligrapher at the Imperial Palace.[4]

In 1485, Bâyezïd II acquired seven works by the great calligrapher, Yaqut al-Musta'simi. Bâyezïd then encouraged his court calligrapher, Hamdullah, to devise a new script, inspired by the acquisition. Hamdullah regarded al-Musta'simi's work as unsurpassable, but at Bâyezïd's insistence, Hamdullah reluctantly agreed. Scholars have suggested that Bâyezïd's enthusiasm for a new script was symbolic of his desire to establish a new empire and a new dynasty.[5]

Hamdullah underwent a period of reclusion during which time he claimed that a prophet taught him the new scripts in a vision.[6] He ultimately recodified and refined the nashk style of calligraphy, originally developed by Yaqut al-Musta'simi. Hamdullah's scripts were more elegant, balanced and legible. From 1500, the majority of Q'rans adopted Hamdallah's new style, which became known as the Ottoman style or "Seyh's manner'. For this, he is often considered to be the "father of Ottoman calligraphy".[7] His many students spread his style throughout the Ottoman Empire.[8] His style endured for 150 years, making him one of the greatest Ottoman calligraphers of all time.[9] As much as two centuries later, students of calligraphy such as Hâfiz Osman continued to copy his works assiduously as part of their training.[10]

He devoted his whole life to the art of calligraphy, continuing to produce works well into his 80s. He produced 47 Mus'hafs, book of Quran, and innumerable En'ams, Evrads and Juz', a number of which are held in the collection of the Topkapi Palace.[11] His inscriptions also decorate the Bâyezïd, Firuzaga and Davud Mosques in Istanbul and the Bâyezïd Mosque in Erdine.[12]

His son, Mawlana Dede Chalabi, became a calligrapher after studying with Hamdallah (his father) and Hamdallah's daughter, whose name is unknown, married a calligrapher by the name of Shukrullah Halife of Amasya, who had also been one of her father's pupils. Hamdullah's grandsons also became calligraphers; Pir Muhammad Dede (d. 986/1580, son of Hamdallah's daughter) and Dervish Muhammad (d. 888/1483, son of Mawlana Dede).[13]

As his reputation grew, many myths to his abilities outside calligraphy sprang up. It was said that he was a great archer, falconer, swimmer and even an extraordinary tailor.[14]

He died in Istanbul in 1520 and was buried at Karacaahmet Cemetery in the district of Üsküdar at Istanbul. Surviving examples of his works are held in the Topkapi Collection.[15]

LegacyEdit

Biographical dictionaries outlining the lineages of calligraphers emerged as a small, but important literary genre in the 16th and 17th-centuries. In these works, a tradition of tracing an unbroken line of master-pupil relationships back to Sheikh Hamdullah, the man who was seen as the father of Ottoman calligraphy, is evident. These 'genealogies' continue to be published into the present.[16]

Examples of these calligraphic genealogies include:

  • Mustafa Âlî, Epic Deeds of Artists, first published in 1587[17]
  • Nefes-zade Ibrahim Efendi (d. 1650), Gülzâr-i Savâb [The Rose-garden of Proper Conduct], first published c. 1640[18]
  • Sayocluzâde Mehmed Necîb (d. 1757), Devhatü’l-küttâb (دوحة الكتّاب) [Genealogy of the Scribes, sometimes translated as the Great Tree of Penmen], first published c. 1737 [19]
  • Müstakim-zade Süleyman Sa'deddin Efendi, Tuhfei Hattatin [Present for Calligraphers or sometimes translated as Choice Gift for Calligraphers], first published c. 1788 [20]
  • "The Genealogy of Ottoman Calligraphers" in: M. Uğur Derman (ed.), Letters in Gold: Ottoman Calligraphy from the Sakıp Sabancı Collection, New York, Harry Abrams, 2010, pp 186–189

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Uğur Derman, M., Letters in Gold: Ottoman Calligraphy from the Sakıp Sabancı Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1998 , p. 46
  2. ^ Traditional Turkish Arts: Calligraphy Turkish Republic, Istanbul, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, n.d., p. 9
  3. ^ Huart, C., Les Calligraphes et les Miniaturistes de l'Orient Musulman, 1972 p. 108 by Digital copy
  4. ^ Uğur Derman, M., Letters in Gold: Ottoman Calligraphy from the Sakıp Sabancı Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1998 , p. 46
  5. ^ Özkafa, F., "İstanbul ve Hat Sanatı" [Istanbul and the Art of Calligraphy] in: Yusuf Çağlar (ed.), Bir Fotoğrafın Aynasında: İstanbul’un Meşhur Hattatları [Through the Mirror of a Picture: Eminent Calligraphers of Istanbul], Istanbul: İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyesi, 2010, p. 114.
  6. ^ Schimmel, A. Rivolta, B., "Islamic Calligraphy", Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, vol. 50, no. 1, 1992, p. 21
  7. ^ Türk ve İslâm Eserleri Müzesi, The Art of the Qurʼan: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, Smithsonian Institution, 2016, p. 82
  8. ^ Ülker, M. فن الخط التركي بين الماضي والحاضر, (in Turkish and English), Türkiye İş Bankası Kültür, n.d., .p. 71
  9. ^ M. Uğur Derman, Letters in Gold: Ottoman Calligraphy from the Sakıp Sabancı Collection, Istanbul, N.Y., Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1998, p. 19
  10. ^ Osborn, J.R., Letters of Light: Arabic Script in Calligraphy, Print, and Digital Design, Harvard University Press, 2017, [E-book edition], n.p.
  11. ^ Baydar and Hepworth, "Two Case Studies:The Rejoining of a Text-Block and the New Use of Remoistenable Tissue", in: Driscoll, M.J. and Mósesdóttir, E. (eds), Care and Conservation of Manuscripts 11, [Proceedings of the Eleventh International Seminar, University of Copenhagen, 24–25 April 2008], Museum Tusculanum Press, 2009, p. 135
  12. ^ Dijkema, F.Th. (ed.),The Ottoman Historical Monumental Inscriptions in Edirne, BRILL, 1977, p. 45
  13. ^ Akin-Kivanc, E., Mustafa Âli's Epic Deeds of Artists: A Critical Edition of the Earliest Ottoman Text about the Calligraphers and Painters of the Islamic World, BRILL, 2011
  14. ^ Huart, C., Les Calligraphes et les Miniaturistes de l'Orient Musulman, 1972 p. 108 by Digital copy
  15. ^ T Diez Albums: Contexts and Contents, BRILL, c. 2016, p.136
  16. ^ Behrens-Abouseif, D. and Vernoit, S., Islamic Art in the 19th Century: Tradition, Innovation, And Eclecticism, BRILL, 2006, p.90-93; Khalili, N.D., Visions of Splendour in Islamic Art and Culture, Worth Press Limited, 2008, p. 44; Auji, H., Printing Arab Modernity: Book Culture and The American Press in Nineteenth-Century Beirut, BRILL, 2016, p. 27
  17. ^ Akin-Kivanc, E., Mustafa Âli's Epic Deeds of Artists: A Critical Edition of the Earliest Ottoman Text about the Calligraphers and Painters of the Islamic World, BRILL, 2011, p.5
  18. ^ Behrens-Abouseif, D. and Vernoit, S., Islamic Art in the 19th Century: Tradition, Innovation, And Eclecticism, BRILL, 2006, p.90-91; Bayani, M., The Decorated Word: Qurʼans of the 17th to 19th Centuries, Volume 4, Part 1, Nour Foundation, 1999, p.66; Akin-Kivanc, E., Mustafa Âli's Epic Deeds of Artists: A Critical Edition of the Earliest Ottoman Text about the Calligraphers and Painters of the Islamic World, BRILL, 2011, p.10. It may be worth noting that a republished edition of the original appeared in 1938, edited by Kilisli Muallim Rifat
  19. ^ Behrens-Abouseif, D. and Vernoit, S., Islamic Art in the 19th Century: Tradition, Innovation, And Eclecticism, BRILL, 2006, p.90-93; Bayani, M., The Decorated Word: Qurʼans of the 17th to 19th Centuries, Volume 4, Part 1, Nour Foundation, 1999, p.66; Akin-Kivanc, E., Mustafa Âli's Epic Deeds of Artists: A Critical Edition of the Earliest Ottoman Text about the Calligraphers and Painters of the Islamic World, BRILL, 2011, p.10. It may be worth noting that the original was republished in a 1939 edition, edited by Kilisli Muallim Rifat and published in Istanbul.
  20. ^ Behrens-Abouseif, D. and Vernoit, S., Islamic Art in the 19th Century: Tradition, Innovation, And Eclecticism, BRILL, 2006, p.91; Akin-Kivanc, E., Mustafa Âli's Epic Deeds of Artists: A Critical Edition of the Earliest Ottoman Text about the Calligraphers and Painters of the Islamic World, BRILL, 2011, p.11.