Verses in Persian and Chaghatay


This calligraphic fragment includes a number of verses in Persian and Chaghatay Turkish (Turkish spoken in Central Asia). A continuous Persian lyrical poem (ghazal) is written in the top and bottom horizontal rectangular panels. Another ghazal appears written in diagonal in the right and left vertical columns. Both ghazals are by the famous Persian poet Shaykh Sa'di (died 1292) and address moral issues. In the central text panel, verses in Chaghatay Turkish are written in black nasta'liq script on beige paper, surrounded by cloud bands on a gold background. The verses in Chaghatay Turkish most likely were drawn from the Divan (Compendium) of poetry composed by Mir ‘Ali Shir Nava'i (died 1501), a powerful statesman during the rule of the last Timurid ruler Husayn Bayqara (ruled 1470-1506) and a champion of Turkish language and literature. The fragment is by the prolific calligrapher Mir ‘Imad al-Hasani (1552-1615), whose works were admired and copied by his contemporaries and later collected by the Mughals. This particular work may have been executed in Persia around 1600 and mounted on a decorative sheet for inclusion in a Mughal album of calligraphies.

Last updated: April 27, 2016