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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Hamid Aytac [Azmi, Musa; al-Amidi, Hamid] (1891-1982)

(b Diyarbakir, 1891; d Istanbul, 10 May 1982). Turkish calligrapher. Originally called Musa Azmi, he was the grandson of Seyyid Adem, a famous calligrapher of Diyarbakir. He practised writing in Diyarbakir with his school teacher Mustafa Akif Tütenk and others, and in 1908 went to Istanbul to continue his education, first at the School of Law and then at the Fine Arts Academy. However, he was soon forced to give up his studies to earn a living. In 1910 he became a writing teacher at the Gülsen school in Istanbul, where he taught the calligrapher Halim Özyazici. He went on to direct the Rusumat press and then worked at the press of the Military Academy in Istanbul. During World War I he worked for one year in Germany, where he prepared military maps. After the war he resigned his job and began to work independently. He changed his name to Hamid Aytaç, and in the early years of the Turkish republic made labels and calling cards. As a calligrapher he practised the jali-thuluth (Turk. celi-sülüs) style with Mehmed Nazif (1846–1913), the naskh and thuluth styles with Kamil Akdic (1862–1941) and the ta`liq style with Mehmed Hulusi (1869–1940). He worked on a number of magnificent manuscripts, including Korans. He also worked at the Sisli Mosque in Istanbul and on other buildings in Istanbul and Ankara.

Text/Photograph © Macmillan Publishers Limited, publishers of The Grove Dictionary of Art.

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