"Muraqqaʻ" (Album) of Poetical Excerpts


This calligraphic sample from a muraqqaʻ (album) of calligraphies includes poetical verses composed by the poets Zahir Faryabi (died 1201 or 1202), Shaykh Abu al-Fayz ibn Mubarak Fayzi (known as Fayzi, died circa 1595), Khwaja Afzal-i Taraka (died 1185), and Asiriddini Akhsikati (circa 1126‒circa 1181). Their names are picked out in gold ink and are followed by their respective verses, which are chosen for their thematic unity. The verses all describe the power of ‘ishq (love) and its rewards. In the right column, a rubaʻi (iambic pentameter quatrain), by Shaykh Fayzi Hindi written in diagonal describes the effects of love. Another of his love quatrains appears on the main text panel on the fragment’s recto. The verses are executed in black nastaʻliq script written diagonally on a cream-colored paper and horizontally on panels made of beige paper. Corners created by the intersection of the diagonal verses and the horizontal and vertical frames are filled with illuminated triangular panels. The text panel is framed by borders of various colors and pasted to a larger sheet of beige paper decorated with various vegetal and geometric motifs painted in gold. The verso of this folio from an album (muraqqaʻ) of calligraphies includes excerpts by the poets Fayzi, Mawlana Baqiri (Muhammad ibn ʿUmar al-Baqari, 1609‒1700), and (Muhammad Husayn) Chalabi Tabrizi (17th century). The names of the three poets are picked out in red ink on the folio and are followed by their respective poetical verses. In the center of the text panel appears one rubaʻi, and two tak bayt (single verses) by the Deccani poet Fayzi. The quatrain describes a lover’s enchantment at his beloved's face, which entices him to look at it again and again. It reads: “Oh God, how do you appear when my eye looks upon your face / By every glance it (my eye) is beguiled to take another look / Oh, from the lie of procrastination at the foot of deceit / On tomorrow’s Day of Gathering, she searches for another tomorrow.” The verses are written in black nastaʻliq script on a blue paper decorated with leaf motifs painted in gold. Verses also form registers around the central text panel, separated by squares filled with decorative motifs in blue or gold. The entire text panel is pasted to a larger cream-colored sheet decorated with painted gold flowers and backed by cardboard. In the lower-left corner of the panel containing the diagonal verses by Fayzi, the calligapher Mirza Quli Mayli has signed his work with his name inscribed vertically. He was most likely a calligrapher active in Persia (Iran) during the 17th or 18th century.

Last updated: November 1, 2017