recto Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Folio from a Qur'an: Sura 2: mid 229 - mid 231 (recto), Sura 2: 231- begin 233 (verso)
Other Titles
Alternate Title: Blue Qur'an
Work Type
manuscript folio
9th century
Creation Place: Middle East, Iraq?
Abbasid period
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Ink, color, gold and silver on vellum dyed blue
H. 28.73 x W. 37.62 cm (11 5/16 x 14 13/16 in.)
framed: H. 43.7 x W. 57.5 cm (17 3/16 x 22 5/8 in.)
Private collection.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Francis H. Burr Memorial Fund
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Publication History

Annemarie Schimmel, "Poetry and Calligraphy: Thoughts about their Interrelation in Persian Culture", ed. Richard Ettinghausen, Westview Press, Inc. (Colorado, 1979), p. 176, fig. 109

Anthony Welch, Calligraphy in the Arts of the Muslim World, University of Tennessee Press (Austin, TX, 1979), page 15, 48-49/figure 4

Kristin A. Mortimer and William G. Klingelhofer, Harvard University Art Museums: A Guide to the Collections, Harvard University Art Museums and Abbeville Press (Cambridge and New York, 1986), page 78/figure 82

Jonathan Bloom, "Riggisberger Berichte", Islamische Textilkunst des Mittelalters: Aktuelle Probleme, Abegg-Stiftung (Switzerland, 1997), page 21/figure 3

Jonathan Bloom and Sheila Blair, Islamic Arts, Phaidon Press (New York, NY, 1997), p 73 - 75, fig. 37

Karel Otavsky, Islamische Textilkunst des Mittelalters: Aktuelle Probleme, Abegg-Stiftung (Riggisberg, 1997), fig. 3, pg. 21, b/w

Laurie Adams, Art Across Time, Volume I: Prehistory to the Fourteenth Century, McGraw-Hill College (London, England, 1999), p. 322, fig. 10.2

Laurie Adams, Art Across Time: Second Edition, McGraw-Hill (New York, 2002), p 328/fig.9.2

Hans Belting, Florence and Baghdad: Renaissance Art and Arab Science (Fireca i Bagdad: Zapadno-istocna povijest pogleda), Verlag C.H. Beck (Munich, Germany, 2008), p. 76, ill.

Hans Belting, Florenz und Bagdad: Eine westösliche Geschichte des Blicks, Verlag C.H. Beck (Munich, 2008)

Laurie Adams, Art Across Time, McGraw-Hill (New York, NY, 2011), p. 308, fig. 9.2

Hans Belting, Florence and Baghdad: Renaissance Art and Arab Science, Belknap Press (Cambridge, MA, 2011), p. 70, fig. 22

Mary McWilliams and Jochen Sokoly, Social Fabrics: Inscribed Textiles from Medieval Egyptian Tombs, exh. cat. (Cambridge, MA, February 22, 2022), p. 85, figs. 1-2

Exhibition History

Islamic Art From the Collections of the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 08/01/1974

Calligraphy in the Arts of the Muslim World, Asia House, 01/11/1979 - 03/11/1979; Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, 04/17/1979 - 05/27/1979; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, 06/28/1979 - 08/12/1979; Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, 09/14/1979 - 10/28/1979

Islamic Art and the Written Word, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 10/05/1983 - 11/27/1983

Geometry of the Spirit: Islamic Illumination and Calligraphy, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 04/30/1988 - 06/26/1988

The Continuous Stroke of a Breath: Calligraphy from the Islamic World, Harvard University Art Museums, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 12/20/2003 - 07/18/2004

32Q: 2550 Islamic, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 05/14/2015

Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: Art, Culture, and Exchange across Medieval Saharan Africa, National Museum of African Art, 07/16/2021 - 02/27/2022

Subjects and Contexts

Google Art Project

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at