Damascus, SANA – Two invaluable paintings containing Arabic script written with ink made out of Damascene flowers are masterpieces of a Syrian artist whose paintings could access the Museums of the Vatican and Saco.
One of artist Ahmad al-Mufti’s paintings, containing the Quranic phrase “Oh John! Take the Book with Strength”, was granted to Pope John Paul II during his visit to Damascus and then it was displayed at the Vatican Museum. The calligrapher extracted the ink from the Damascene flower and inscribed the Quranic verse on paper made of its tree’s bark.
“Some of the words written with Damascene arabesque designs were hued with 21 Karat gold,” al-Mufti says. “It was a great pleasure for me that the Pope liked it very much.”
The other painting containing the Quranic phrase ” With Difficulty is Surely Ease ” is showcased at the Japanese Saco Museum upon the request of the great Japanese Intellectual Daisaku Ikeda.
“The Quranic phrase was also chosen by Daisaku… I selected ‘al-Tholoth’ script using a vocalization that had not been used before,” al-Mufti clarifies.
Ahmad al-Mufti is a Syrian Arabic calligrapher pioneer, a researcher and a historian. He learned calligraphy by the renowned calligrapher Badawi al-Dairani, and then he studied Arabic Literature at Damascus University. Al-Mufti was introduced to calligrapher Hamed al-Amdi in Istanbul. Visiting Egypt, the Syrian artist got acquainted to different script genres where he worked as a painter and painting teacher.
R. milhem / H. Said