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Afzal  

[Mir Afżal al-Ḥusaynī al-Tūnī]

(fl Isfahan, 1640–51).

Persian illustrator. Active during the reign of the Safavid shah ‛Abbas II (reg 1642–66), Afzal produced manuscript illustrations and single pages for albums in different styles. Most of the 62 paintings he made for the voluminous copy (St Petersburg, Saltykov-Shchedrin Pub. Lib., Dorn 333) of Firdawi’s Shāhnāma (‘Book of kings’) presented to the monarch by the head of the royal guard, Murtiza Quli Khan, are scenes of battles and combats in the Metropolitan style that was transferred from Herat to Bukhara (see Islamic art, §III, 4(vi)(c)). Unlike the tinted drawings of his contemporaries, Afzal’s single-page compositions use a rich, sombre palette highlighted with gold. Most depict the standard repertory of languid youths and lovers in the style of Riza, but are more erotic. Bishop with a Crosier (Los Angeles, CA, Co. Mus. A., M.73.5.456) is the only known Persian portrait of an Armenian religious figure; it shows a broad-faced, sensitively modelled figure similar in style to those in the ...

Article

(Isayevich)

(b Vinnitsa, Ukraine, Dec 22, 1889; d Leningrad [now St Petersburg], Dec 12, 1970).

Russian painter, graphic artist, sculptor and designer of Ukrainian birth. He studied painting at the School of Art in Odessa (1901–7) under Kiriak Kostandi (1852–1921), at the same time attending classes in sculpture. In 1908–9 he made a series of pointillist paintings. He visited Vienna and Munich in 1910 before going to Paris, where he worked at Vasil’yeva’s Free Russian Academy until 1912, producing paintings on Jewish themes and studying Cubism. In 1912 he went to St Petersburg, where he painted a number of Cubist portraits, for example of the poet Anna Akhmatova (1914; St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.). His Cubist work makes much use of faceting and transparent planes. From 1918 to 1921 he taught at the Department of Visual Arts (IZO) of Narkompros in Petrograd, but he was criticized for his attempts to identify Futurism with the art of the proletariat. Al’tman became well known as the designer of post-Revolutionary mass parades and monuments, for example the celebration of the first anniversary of the Revolution on ...

Article

Sheila R. Canby

[ Mīr Zayn al-‛Ābidīn Tabrīzī ]

( fl c. Qazvin, 1570–1602).

Persian illustrator, illuminator and calligrapher . The grandson and pupil of Sultan-Muhammad , Zayn al-‛Abidin worked exclusively for royal and noble patrons at the Safavid court in Qazvin ( see Islamic art, §III, 4(vi)(a) ). He contributed an illustration of Nariman Killing the Ruler of China to a copy (London, BL, Or. MS. 12985; fol. 90v) of Asadi’s Gārshāspnāma (‘Book of Garshasp’) produced at Qazvin in 1573 and four paintings to a dispersed copy of the Shāhnāma (‘Book of kings’) made for Isma‛il II (reg 1576–8). The artist’s style is characterized by solid forms, extreme precision and compositions that resemble the style typical of Tabriz in the first half of the 16th century rather than the more mannered one typical of Qazvin in the 1570s. His best known illumination is the splendid signed frontispiece for the unfinished copy (Dublin, Chester Beatty Lib., MS. 277) of the Shāhnāma, thought to have been commissioned upon the accession of ‛Abbas I in ...

Article

[Khwāja ‛Abd al-Ḥayy]

(fl c. 1374; d Samarkand, 1405).

Illustrator and painter. According to the Safavid chronicler Dust Muhammad, ‛Abd al-Hayy trained under Shams al-Din at Baghdad during the reign of the Jalayirid sultan Uways I (reg 1356–74) and became the leading painter under his son Ahmad (reg 1382–1410), who was also ‛Abd al-Hayy’s pupil. When Timur took Baghdad, ‛Abd al-Hayy was sent to Samarkand, either in 1393 or in 1401, where he spent the rest of his life. He seems to have specialized in monochrome ink drawings: Dust Muhammad recorded that ‛Abd al-Hayy’s pupil, Ahmad Jalayir, contributed a black-and-white drawing to a manuscript of the Abūsa‛īdnāma (‘Book of Abu Sa‛id’), and a number of examples attributed to the late 14th century and preserved in various albums (e.g. Berlin, Staatsbib. Preuss. Kultbes., Orientabt. Diez A. 70–73) bear the notation that they were copied from ‛Abd al-Hayy’s drawings by Muhammad ibn Mahmud Shah Khayyam. In his album (Istanbul, Topkapı Pal. Lib., H. ...

Article

[Khwāja ‛Alī Tabrīzī]

(fl Herat, 1420–45).

Persian illustrator. Khwaja ‛Ali of Tabriz is named as illuminator and illustrator in the colophon to a fine copy (Istanbul, Tokapı Pal. Lib., H. 781) of Nizami’s Khamsa (‘Five poems’), completed in 1445–6 for Ismat al-Dunya, the wife of the Timurid prince Muhammad Juki. The artist is probably to be identified with the ‘portraitist’ of that name who, according to Dust Muhammad, was brought by Muhammad Juki’s half-brother Baysunghur to Herat from Tabriz in 1420. Khwaja ‛Ali’s paintings in the Khamsa are distinguished by round-headed snub-nosed figures, refined and meticulous architecture and interiors, fresh and verdant foliage, and a palette of primary colours with much green and purple. Many of his compositions repeat those used in earlier manuscripts. His style can be identified in several other manuscripts produced at Herat: a copy (1431; Istanbul, Mus. Turk. & Islam. A., MS. 1954) of Nizami ‛Arudi’s Chahār maqāla (‘Four discourses’) made for ...

Article

Sheila S. Blair

[Mīrzā ‛Alī ibn Sulṭān-Muḥammad]

(b ?Tabriz, c. 1510; d before 1576).

Persian illustrator. According to the Safavid chronicler Qazi Ahmad, during the lifetime of the famous painter Sultan-Muhammad, his son Mirza ‛Ali worked in the library of the Safavid ruler Tahmasp I and had no match in figural and decorative painting and in portraiture. The Ottoman historian Mustafa ‛Ali placed Mirza ‛Ali at the head of the list of designers and called him a celebrated master and painter. Two paintings in the magnificent copy (London, BL, Or. MS. 2265, fols 48v and 77v) of Nizami’s Khamsa (‘Five poems’) made for Tahmasp in 1539–43 are ascribed to Mirza ‛Ali. Their realism, logical arrangement of space and psychological insight led Dickson and Welch to attribute other works to the artist and trace a long career, stretching into the 1570s. They suggested that in the 1530s and 1540s Mirza ‛Ali worked on the major manuscripts produced for the Safavid court, contributing six paintings to the monumental copy (ex-Houghton priv. col., fols 18...

Article

[Muḥammad ‛Alī al-Mashhadī ibn Malik Ḥusayn al-Iṣfahānī]

(fl Isfahan, 1645–60).

Persian illustrator. The son of a painter, Muhammad ‛Ali became one of the most popular and prolific painters at the court of the Safavid monarch ‛Abbas II (reg 1642–66). Muhammad ‛Ali was a skilled and competent artist who preferred rounded contours and simple forms. Although he was not as innovative in form and style as his contemporary Mu‛in, Muhammad ‛Ali’s figures convey tremendous charm, animation and vitality. Eight of his paintings illustrate his own copy (Baltimore, MD, Walters A.G., MS 649) of Muhammad Riza Naw‛i’s Sūz u gudāz (‘Burning and consuming’). The largest number of the artist’s ink drawings highlighted with colour washes and gold illustrate a copy (Istanbul, Topkapı Pal. Lib., H. 1010) of Hafiz’s Dīvān (collected poetry). His album pages include standard figures of youths, elderly men and lovers as well as more unusual group scenes, such as one of bears imitating a court.

See images tab for additional illustrations....

Article

Sheila S. Blair

[Muẓaffar ‛Alī ibn Haydar ‛Alī al-Tabrīzī]

(fl late 1520s–70s; d Qazvin, c. 1576).

Persian calligrapher, illustrator, painter and poet. He was a versatile artist who belonged to the second generation working for Tahmasp I (reg 1524–76) at the Safavid court in north-west Iran (see Islamic art, §III, 4(vi)(a)). His career has been reconstructed by Dickson and Welch on the basis of brief notices by Safavid artists and historians, signed calligraphies and ascribed paintings. He studied calligraphy with the master Rustam ‛Ali, and several folios in the album compiled for Bahram Mirza in 1544–5 (Istanbul, Topkapı Pal. Lib., H. 2154) are signed jointly by Rustam ‛Ali for the writing and Muzaffar ‛Ali for the découpage (Arab. qat‛). He was a master of nasta‛lıq script, and two examples in the album prepared for Amir Ghayb Beg in 1564–5 (Istanbul, Topkapı Pal. Lib., H. 2161) are signed by him. In the introduction to this album, Malik Daylami wrote of his skill in calligraphic decoration and gold illumination, and the chronicler Qazi Ahmad reported that he also excelled in gold-flecking, gilding and varnished painting. Muzaffar ‛Ali reportedly studied painting with the renowned master ...

Article

Sheila R. Canby

[Qāsim ibn ‛Alī Chihra-gushāy: ‘portrait painter’]

(fl c. Herat, 1475–c. 1526).

Iranian illustrator. He was one of the most renowned painters at the court of the Timurid sultan Husayn Bayqara (see Timurid family §II, (8)) and his associate ‛Alishir Nava’i (see also Islamic art, §III, 4(v)(d)). The chronicler Mīrzā Muhammad Haydar Dughlāt (1500–51) described him as a portrait painter and pupil of Bihzad and said that Qasim ‛Ali’s works came close to Bihzad’s but were rougher. The historian Khwāndamīr (d 1535–6) noted that Qasim ‛Ali worked in the library of ‛Alishir Nava’i, the poet, bibliophile and major patron, but that by the 1520s, having made the pilgrimage to Mecca and moved to Sistan, he apparently had ceased painting. His style is difficult to define because many works are falsely ascribed to him. The four paintings most convincingly attributed to him are in the style of Bihzad and illustrate a copy (divided, Oxford, Bodleian Lib., Elliott 287, 317, 339 and 408; Manchester, John Rylands U. Lib., Turk. MS. 3) of ‛Alishir’s ...

Article

British, 20th century, male.

Active in London.

Born 10 March 1903, in Braintree (Essex); died 21 November 1989, in Saffron Walden (Essex).

Painter (including gouache), watercolourist, illustrator, printmaker, graphic designer. Military subjects, rustic scenes, landscapes, seascapes, harbour scenes, architectural views, church interiors. Decorative panels.

Edward Bawden studied at Cambridge School of Art ...

Article

Italian, 20th century, male.

Born 1928, in Colognola ai Colli, near Verona.

Painter, engraver, graphic designer, fresco artist, sculptor. Religious subjects. Designs for stained glass.

Bellomi studied initially at the Cignaroli Academy in Verona. After World War II, he worked as a coal miner in St-Étienne in France. However, he spent most of his life in Verona where, ...

Article

Bihzad  

Priscilla P. Soucek

[Kamāl al-Dīn Bihzād; Behzad]

(b c. 1450; d Tabriz, 1535–6).

Persian illustrator. The most famous master of Persian painting, he is important both for the paintings he executed and for the wider influence of the style associated with his name. Evidently orphaned at a young age, Bihzad is said to have been raised and trained by Mirak, a painter and calligrapher employed in Herat by Sultan Husayn (see Timurid family §II, (8) and Islamic art, §III, 4(v)(d)) and his minister ‛Alishir Nava’i. The earliest literary reference to Bihzad’s work is contained in the Khulāṣat al-akḥbār (‘Essences of the eminent’), a history of the Timurid dynasty composed by Khwandamir in 1499–1500 but recounting events before 1471. Khwandamir described Bihzad as one of several skilled painters associated with these two patrons. The senior artist among them was Bihzad’s teacher, Mirak, but greatest praise was reserved for another painter, Qasim ‛Ali. By 1524, when Khwandamir completed his general history, Habīb al-siyar...

Article

Italian, 14th – 15th century, male.

Born at the end of the 14th century, in Milan; died c. 1470.

Painter, fresco artist. History painting, religious subjects.

Few biographical details are known of this artist. The Church of San Angelo possesses a Pietà, dated 1418, and a ...

Article

Belgian, 20th century, male.

Born 1869, in Antwerp; died 1941, in Brussels.

Painter, sculptor, illustrator, poster artist. Religious subjects, portraits, landscapes.

Art Nouveau.

Having first studied law, Ghisbert Combaz became a pupil at the academy in Antwerp and a professor at the Brussels academy. He spent most of his life in Antwerp, where he exhibited from 1886 onwards; he also exhibited in conjunction with the association of Art Nouveau artists known as the Libre Esthétique from 1897. As an art historian, he made special study of the art of the Far East. With their sinuous and undulating rhythm, the arabesques in his engravings and posters provide typical examples of the Modern Style....

Article

Carol M. Schuler

Works in various graphic media used principally for the veneration of religious figures or events.

The use of prints for devotional purposes dates as far back as the history of printmaking in the West. The oldest extant woodcuts (early 15th century; see Woodcut, §II, 2) commonly portray popular saints as well as Christ and the Virgin. Sold and possibly also manufactured by monks at pilgrimage shrines, these simple depictions of venerated holy figures provided relatively inexpensive, portable devotional objects for the faithful. Not treasured for their intrinsic artistic value, the few known works have survived by accident, having been pasted into manuscript or book covers or on to box lids. Many lost woodcuts decorated home shrines or modest chapels; others were pasted over fireplaces or on to walls and doors. Prints depicting guardian saints also functioned as amulets to ward off disease and death; many were sewn into articles of clothing....

Article

Belgian, 20th century, male.

Born 1909, in Liège; died 1993.

Engraver (including etching), draughtsman, painter, poster artist. Religious subjects, popular scenes, local scenes.

Jean Dols was a pupil of Jean Donnay at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Liège. He showed a collection of his engravings at the Pavillon des Expositions at Wégimont in ...

Article

Sheila R. Canby

[Dūst Muḥammad ibn Sulaymān al-Haravī]

(b Kawashan, nr Herat, c. 1490; d c. 1565). Persian calligrapher, illustrator and man of letters. A pupil of Bihzad, Dust Muhammad was in service to the Safavid ruler Tahmasp I. The artist’s earliest signed works are three calligraphic specimens executed at Herat in 1511–12 and mounted in an album (St Petersburg, Rus. N. Lib., Dorn 147). According to Dickson and Welch, his earliest paintings are six illustrations in a manuscript (St Petersburg, Rus. N. Lib., Dorn 441, fols 8v, 10r, 31v, 32v, 36v, 53v) of ‛Arifi’s Gūy ū Chawgān (‘Ball and bandy’) copied by the shah at Tabriz in 1524–5. They attribute to Dust Muhammad five paintings in the monumental copy (ex-Houghton priv. col., fols 308v, 551v, 658v, 663v, 745v) of the Shāhnāma (‘Book of kings’) made for Tahmasp. The sparse compositions have awkward, flattened figures with ill-fitting turbans and oddly shaped thumbs and flimsy, planar architecture. A calligraphic specimen (Istanbul, Topkapı Pal. Lib., H. ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 10 April 1900, in Châteauroux; died 13 May 1989, in St-Aubin-Châteauneuf.

Painter, watercolourist, draughtsman, illustrator, designer, poster artist, sculptor. Religious subjects, military subjects, battles, figures, nudes, figure compositions. Wall decorations.

Robert Falcucci trained in Paris at the École des Beaux-Arts and the École des Arts Décoratifs, and he was also taught by Cécile and Émmanuel Cavaille-Coll. In ...

Article

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Active in the USA fromc.1943.

Born 1901, in Chinon; died 2 September 1968, in New York.

Painter (including gouache), poster artist, draughtsman, pastellist, illustrator. Religious subjects, local scenes, figures, nudes, portraits, landscapes with figures, urban landscapes, still-lifes (flowers/fruit). Murals, designs for stained glass...