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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

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

S. J. Vernoit

(b Asilah, Nov 22, 1936).

Moroccan painter and graphic artist. He studied art in Morocco at the Escuela Preparatoria de Bellas Artes in Tétouan between 1953 and 1955, then in Seville and Madrid, as well as at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome, at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and at Columbia University, NY. After the independence of Morocco in 1956 its painters began to search for a national and cultural identity, and Melehi was among the leaders of this movement. He taught at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Casablanca from 1964 to 1969, along with fellow Moroccan artists Farid Belkahia and Mohamed Chebaa (b 1935).

As one of the ‘Casablanca Group’ Melehi objected to the foreign monopoly of artistic thought in Morocco, and organized the first exhibition of this group in 1965. He also organized the Exposition manifeste in the Jama‛ al-Fna Square in Marrakesh in 1969. Along with 39 other Moroccan painters, such as Belkahia, Chebaa, Moustapha Hafid (...

Article

Sheila R. Canby

[Sayyid Aqā Jalāl al-Dīn Mīrak al-Ḥasanī (or al-Ḥusaynī) al-Iṣfahānī]

(fl Tabriz, c. 1520–55; Mashhad, c. 1555–65; Qazvin, 1565–?75; d before 1576).

Persian illustrator and painter. He was painter, purveyor and boon companion to the Safavid shah Tahmasp I and was well known in contemporary circles. The contemporary chronicler Dūst Muhammad mentioned that Aqa Mirak along with Mir Musavvir did wall paintings for Prince Sam Mirza’s palace in Tabriz and illustrations for royal manuscripts of Firdawsi’s Shāhnāma (‘Book of kings’) and Nizami’s Khamsa (‘Five poems’). Qazi Ahmad wrote that he had no peer in artistic design and was an incomparable painter, very clever, enamoured of his art, a bon vivant, an intimate [of the Shah] and a sage. A manuscript (London, BL, Or. MS. 2265) of the Khamsa done between 1539 and 1543 has four illustrations bearing attributions to Aqa Mirak. Dickson and Welch have attributed other paintings to Aqa Mirak in the monumental copy (dispersed; ex-Houghton priv. col.) of the Shāhnāma made for Tahmasp, and have used these attributions to define four periods in the artist’s life. Works ascribed to a youthful period in the 1520s have tautly composed landscapes inhabited by a few large-scale figures. A transitional period in the early 1530s was followed by mature works produced from the late 1530s to ...

Article

Mu‛in  

Eleanor Sims

[Mu‛īn Muṣavvir]

(b c. 1617; fl Isfahan, 1635–97).

Persian illustrator and painter. Numerous works clearly signed in black ink mu‛īn muṣavvir (‘Mu‛in the painter’) establish the dates of this artist’s activity. He codified the style developed by his teacher Riza and remained impervious to the eclecticism of late 17th-century art (see Islamic art, §III, 4(vi)(a)). Mu‛in often drew in magenta; his art had a firm ground in calligraphy and an equally firm colourism, but his palette is less intense than Riza’s and less deep in tonality; his figures are also less mannered in form and less extravagant in line than Riza’s and the males often sport the broad moustaches made fashionable by ‛Abbas I (reg 1588–1629). Signed works include copiously illustrated manuscripts, nearly 60 single-figure paintings and ink drawings, and painted and varnished bookbindings (see Islamic art, §VIII, 10). Many of the manuscripts (e.g. Dublin, Chester Beatty Lib., P. 270, dated 1656) are copies of Firdawsi’s ...

Article

Sheila R. Canby

[Mīr Muṣavvir]

(b Termez or Badakhshan, late 15th century; fl Tabriz, c. 1510–48; d India, c. 1555).

Persian illustrator and painter. According to the contemporary chronicler Dust Muhammad, Mir Musavvir and Aqa Mirak were two matchless sayyids in service to the Safavid royal library who did wall paintings for the palace of Prince Sam Mirza and illustrations for royal manuscripts of Firdawsi’s Shāhnāma (‘Book of kings’) and Nizami’s Khamsa (‘Five poems’). Manuchihr Enthroned (fol. 60v) from the monumental copy (dispersed; ex-Houghton priv. col.) of the Shāhnāma made for Tahmasp (reg 1524–76) is signed on a courtier’s turban, and a verse couplet written in the iwan in Nushirwan and the Owls (fol. 15v) in a magnificent copy (London, BL, Or. MS. 2265) of the Khamsa, made for the Shah between 1539 and 1543, says that it was penned by Mir Musavvir in 1539–40. A portrait of the steward Sarkhan Beg (London, BM, 1930–11–12–02) is also inscribed as the work of Mir Musavvir....

Article

Esin Atil

(fl 1619–22).

Ottoman painter and astrologer. Employed as the official timekeeper at the Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul, he was also the foremost illustrator of historical manuscripts under Sultan Osman II (reg 1618–22). His earliest known work is the series of 49 illustrations he provided for a copy of the Shaqā’iq al-nu ‛māniyya, a biographical dictionary of Ottoman scholars by Taşköp rülüzade Ahmed Efendi (Istanbul, Topkapı Pal. Lib., H. 1263). The manuscript was commissioned in 1619 by the grand vizier Öküz Mehmed Pasha as a gift for the Sultan, and the last scene shows the Grand Vizier presenting the book to the Sultan in the presence of the artist. The illustrations in the Dīvān (collected poems) of the court epic-writer Nadiri (Istanbul, Topkapı Pal. Lib., H. 899), made in c. 1620, can be attributed to Ahmed Nakşi on stylistic grounds, as can those in the same author’s Şâhnâme, an account of Osman II’s campaign against Poland in ...

Article

[Muḥammad Qāsim Tabrīzī]

(b ?Tabriz; d 1659).

Persian illustrator, painter and poet. He was the most important painter in mid-17th-century Isfahan after Mu‛in. Muhammad Qasim contributed illustrations to several manuscripts, including many tinted drawings for two copies (1640; Istanbul, Topkapı Pal. Lib., H. 1010; and c. 1650; Dublin, Chester Beatty Lib., MS. 299) of Hafiz’s Dīvān (collected poetry) and 42 paintings to a copy (1648; Windsor Castle, Royal Lib., MS. A/6, Holmes 151) of the Shāhnāma (‘Book of kings’). The artist also painted several murals of single figures and groups of picnickers in the side room (P4) adjoining the reception hall of the Chihil Sutun Palace (1647; see Isfahan, §3, (vii)). He is best known for his album paintings of single figures or small groups (see fig.); they often include short poems or letters that reflect his reputation as a celebrated poet. He was an accomplished draughtsman and sensitive colourist who repeated a few carefully controlled hues to create overall balance and harmony, but his elegant figures are somewhat stiff and his landscapes mere backdrops....