A New Riyadh Exhibition Explores The Origin And Contemporary Influence Of The Arabic Language

Titled ‘Scripts and Calligraphy: A Timeless Journey, the exhibition takes visitors on a journey through time as they discover the development of the art of calligraphy,

The latest initiative of Saudi Arabia’s ‘Year of Arabic Calligraphy’ programme and being held at the National Museum in Riyadh, the exhibition highlights the instrumental role that calligraphy has played in shaping modern artistic disciplines and the wealth of talent that exists both in the Kingdom and globally.

Presenting 180 artworks lent by museums from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (National Museum, King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies), Tunisia (National Heritage Institute) and France (Museum of the Arab World Institute), the showcase brings together the great masters of Arabic calligraphy alongiste contemporary designers – across fashion and installation – and artificial intelligence artists from 17 countries.

Spread over more than 1,500 m2 and staged in five sections, ‘Scripts and Calligraphy: A timeless Journey’, sheds light on the origins of the Arabic script, the development of the art of classical calligeaphy and the relationship between calligraphy and contemporary design.

The exhibition starts with insights into the early writing system in the Middle East. The section features images captured by celebrated photographer Robert Polidori that spolitight the 1,700 – years ofd Dadanitic and Nabatean inscriptions found at the Kingdom’s famed the AlUla Governorate. From here, visitors will discover the story behind with it the art of Arabic calligraphy. Examples on display include pages from a 7th century CE Quran from Madinah, and from the famous Blue Quran which dates back to the 9th century CE; Some of the earliest Quranic manuscripts in existence.