Verses by Hilālī

Description

This calligraphic fragment includes three distinct text panels all executed in Nasta'liq script: one written in black ink on blue paper, another in white ink on beige paper with two illuminated triangles (or thumb pieces) in the upper and lower corners, and a third (lowest on the page) written in black ink on beige paper. All three panels were cut out and placed together, provided with a gold frame, and pasted to a larger sheet of paper decorated with flecks of gold. The blue text panel includes verses composed by the mystical poet Badr al-Dīn Hilālī (died 1528–29; 935–36 AH), whose name appears in the upper-left triangular corner. The other two text panels contain prayers for a king, wishing him glory and health, composed in the poetic format known as tarji-band (in between each stanza with a different rhyme appears a single hemistich with its own rhyme). The panel executed in white ink on the top left is signed in the lower left corner by the calligrapher Mir 'Ali. This famous Persian calligrapher, whose full name was Mīr ʻAlī Ḥusaynī Haravī (circa 1476–1543), was active in the city of Herāt (present-day Afghanistan) during the 16th century until he was taken to Bukhara (present-day Uzbekistan) in 1528–29 by the Shaybanid ruler 'Ubaydallah Khan Uzbek. He was not only a master calligrapher, but a poet in his own right who composed a number of sample verses (qit'as) in honor of his patrons. The text executed in black on blue paper is signed by another calligrapher, Sultan Bayazid (died 1578). He was a respected pupil of Mīr ʻAlī, who considered him his spiritual son and even calligraphed certain pieces for him, signing his name and making a note that the piece was for his "illustrious son, Sultan Bayazid." It appears that this calligraphic piece attempts to highlight the close master–pupil relationship by pasting together their works onto a single album page.

Last updated: March 4, 2013