Love is patient, Love is kind

Gallnut ink, historical pigments and shell gold on paper. 32x48cm. Made in the style of some 10th c. Qur’ans from Iran or the Near East.

Date25 March 2022

الْمَحَبَّةُ تَتَأَنَّى وَتَرْفُقُ. الْمَحَبَّةُ لاَ تَحْسِدُ. الْمَحَبَّةُ لاَ تَتَفَاخَرُ وَلاَ تَنْتَفِخُ وَلاَ تُقَبِّحُ وَلاَ تَطْلُبُ مَا لِنَفْسِهَا وَلاَ تَحْتَدُّ وَلاَ تَظُنُّ السُّؤَ وَلاَ تَفْرَحُ بِالإِثْمِ بَلْ تَفْرَحُ بِالْحَقِّ. وَتَحْتَمِلُ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ وَتُصَدِّقُ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ وَتَرْجُو كُلَّ شَيْءٍ وَتَصْبِرُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ

Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, it  does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

(The Arabic is from the SVD Arabic Bible, 1865)



The style this piece is based on is a simple variant on classic Manuscript Kufi where format is vertical and the shafts and tails are elongated. In this particular example, the dots are actual dots (as opposed to the usual dashes of MSK) and the red vocalisation has been completed with blue shadda and green hamza – the effect is light and joyful, with a certain softness even though the curves are minimal. It matched up well with the chosen verse.

The double layout emulates a full spread in a book, and uses repeating words and letterforms to create visual rhythm.

A penny for your thoughts...