Tughra (Official Signature) of Sultan Süleiman the Magnificent from Istanbul


Tughra (Official Signature) of Sultan Süleiman the Magnificent, ca. 1555–60, ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper, 25 x 30″ / 63.5 x 76.2 cm) (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York). Video from The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Raised to a high art form within the Ottoman chancery, the tughra served as the official seal of the sultan. Affixed to every royal edict, this stylized signature is an intricate calligraphic composition comprising the name of the reigning sultan, his father’s name, his title, and the phrase “the eternally victorious.” Its bold, gestural line contrasts with the delicate swirling vine-scroll illumination used to ornament the seal.


Additional resources:

This work at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

Cite this page as: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, "Tughra (Official Signature) of Sultan Süleiman the Magnificent from Istanbul," in Smarthistory, January 25, 2016, accessed February 26, 2017, https://smarthistory.org/tughra-official-signature-of-sultan-suleiman-the-magnificent-from-istanbul/.