Mecca, Madinah and the works of Abdullah Zuhdi Dr Sami de Giosa , SOAS University of London
York Islamic Art Circle
Please note: the title and content of this event have now been changed, having been formerly known as 'Only the best for the Haram: The chamber of the Prophet as an inspiration for art and architecture during the Mamluk period'.
As made evident by his extensive body of artistic works, Abdullah Zühdi’s mastery over the classical aesthetic categories of form, harmony, and proportion mean that he can be very accurately described as one of the greatest master calligraphers of the Ottoman period. Although prolific throughout his career, he is mostly known for the artistic contributions he made to the Ka‘ba and the mosque of the Prophet Muhammad in Medina, indisputably the two most sacred sites for Muslims the world over. Many of the distinguished inscriptions Zühdi prepared for the Prophet’s Mosque are still extant, and as attested by a number of objects held in the Khalili Collection, Zühdi’s calligraphic designs continued to inspire craftsmen and calligraphers long after his death in 1296/1879.
In this talk, Sami will explore the biography of the illustrious nineteenth century master through a study of his life, style, major works, and transformative contributions towards the development of Ottoman calligraphy.
Sami de Giosa
Sami is a research fellow at SOAS University of London in the department of Cultures and Languages, he also works in the Middle East as a consultant/curator for many cultural and Museum projects including the Shindagha Museum in Dubai. He was previously a fellow at the University of Oxford and has worked for the British Museum as a curator as well as being the co-curator for the Hajj: memories of a Journey exhibition at the Sheikh Zayed grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi in 2017-2018. Sami finished his PhD in Art history at SOAS on the revival or architecture and arts in Cairo during the late 15th century.