early 19th century
gold and opaque watercolour on ultramarine-coated paper
written in jali thulth
32.5 x 50.2cm
The first line is a hadith of the Prophet, ‘My intercession will be for those of my community who committed great sins.’ In the second line the calligrapher – Sultan Mahmud II (r. 1808–1839) – begs for the intercession of the Prophet.
The sultan’s signature, which is in tughra form inside a wreath, is said to have been designed by Mustafa Rakim, who was calligraphy teacher to Sultan Mahmud and who is said to have supervized the finishing of some of his pupil’s work. [see CAL 334]
N.F. Safwat, The Art of the Pen. Calligraphy of the 14th to 20th Centuries, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, volume V, London 1996, cat.92, pp.156 and 159.