Art And Culture

‘Ouj’, a New Genre of Persian Calligraphy

‘Ouj’, a New Genre of Persian Calligraphy‘Ouj’, a New Genre of Persian Calligraphy

A new genre of Persian calligraphy by Iranian calligrapher Khosrow Pournadali was licensed and registered by the office of the legal deputy at the ministry of culture and Islamic guidance.

The new calligraphy style is named ‘Ouj’ (ascension) by its creator, since the characters in this style appear to be ascending upwards, while at the same time are intertwined with each other. The Ouj calligraphy uses pencils rather than straw pen and ink which are predominantly used in the traditional Persian scripts such as Nasta’liq and Naskh, Mehr News Agency reported.

Pournadali, born in 1960 in Nazarabad county of Alborz Province, took a liking to calligraphy at the age of 15-16. However, he used a pencil for his calligraphic works “as he was not very fond of straw pen and ink.”

Regarding his motivation for developing the new calligraphic style, the artist, who has been practicing the art for almost 23 years, said he “sensed the need for some fresh ideas in Persian calligraphy to make the art more appealing for the younger generation.”

Around 1000 years ago, Ibn Muqlah and his brother created six genres of Iranian calligraphy, namely “Tahqiq”, “Reyhan”, “Sols”, “Naskh”, “Toqi” and “Reqa”. These genres were common for four centuries in Persia. In the 7th century AH (1203 AD - 1299 AD), Hassan Farsi Kateb combined the “Naskh” and “Reqah” styles, and invented a new genre of Persian calligraphy named “Ta’liq”. 


The renaissance of Persian calligraphy began during 14th century AH (1883 AD - 1980 AD) when Mir Ali Tabrizi developed “Nastaliq” calligraphy style by combining “Naskh” and “Taliq”. Due to it is strength and beauty, it quickly became the most widely used style of calligraphy throughout Persia and the Islamic world. Nastaliq gradually flourished in the next two centuries until Mir-Emad Alhasani (1554 – 1615 AD) perfected it to its highest splendor and beauty. During Safavid dynasty in 16th century both Nastaliq and Sols were widely used by another famous calligrapher, Alireza Abasi, who supervised the design of calligraphies in most mosques and architectural facades in Isfahan.

In the last two centuries the art of Persian calligraphy further evolved and new styles such as “Siah mashq” and calligraphy painting blossomed to become one of the greatest symbols of Persian art and culture.