Sülüs and nesih scripts. Black and brown Iranian ink, gouache and gold on paper. 45.5 x 40 cm. This is a karalama, or calligraphic exercise. The word karalama means blackening, and it refers to the practice pages written by calligraphers before executing a final piece. In it the calligrapher writes each word with all the different possibilities until he/she finds the most harmonious composition. The dots in brown are the internal measurements of each letter. The text reads: “Seest thou not how God sets forth a parable? A good word is as a good tree, its root set firm, its branches reaching into heaven, giving its fruit at every season by permission of its Lord.” Surah Ibrahim, Quran 14: 26-27.