A work of Islamic calligraphy by a Japanese artist sold on December 16, 2010 for $50,000 in a Sotheby’s auction in Doha, the auction house said.
The work was created by Koichi Honda, 64, a professor at Tokyo-based Daito Bunka University.
Honda is known as an Islamic calligrapher. The 61-year-old professor of international relations at Daito Bunka University in Saitama Prefecture is Japan’s leading authority on Arabic calligraphy, a devotional art form that has evolved over the course of 1,400 years and has detailed rules determining every single facet of the practice, whether the script is executed on paper or vellum or is fired into the gorgeous ceramic tiling that can hardly fail to astonish any visitor to a mosque.
The work depicts a phrase from the Quran in a round shape against a green background, according to Sotheby’s and Honda. Islamic calligraphy, dating back to the 10th century, depicts passages from the Quran instead of images, which are prohibited as iconolatry in Islam.