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A CALLIGRAPHIC PANEL, ATTRIBUTED TO `IMAD AL-HASSANI

A CALLIGRAPHIC PANEL, ATTRIBUTED TO `IMAD AL-HASSANI

Item Description:



Mughal India or Safavid Persia, 17th Century

Ink and opaque pigment on paper heightened with gold

Image 5 7/8 x 3 1/8 in. (14.8 x 8.1 cm.)

Like many poetic calligraphic pages, the current example begins with the pious invocation ‘Ya Qadi al-Hajat’ which literally means ‘O Judge of Needs’, one of the attributes of God. The calligraphy consists of two couplets of poetry in Nasta`liq script within cloud bands, interspersed with further smaller bands of calligraphy and illuminations.


The work is signed `Imad al-Hasani, who was the famous late 16th - early 17th century Persian calligrapher often regarded as the undisputed master of Nasta`liq. Even today in Iran, his name remains synonymous with the greatest achievements of Persian calligraphy. He was a member of an eminent family of sayyids (descendants of the Prophet) from Qazvin. He began his training at the age of eight and spent most of his life in his native town. At the turn of the 17th century he joined the Safavid court of Shah Abbas I (r. 1588 - 1629) in Isfahan. There, `Imad al-Hasani soon fell out with Ali Riza-i Abbasi, the head of the royal workshop and favourite calligrapher of Shah Abbas, and in 1615 he was murdered, possibly at the command of the Shah. Others later asserted that he was in fact assassinated because of the jealousy of Ali Riza, his rival. Importantly, some of his relatives including his nephew Rashida, a renowned calligrapher in his own right, fled to the court of Shah Jahan (r. 1628 - 58). The Mughal Emperor was a great admirer of `Imad al-Hasani and avidly collected his work.


The difficulty with calligraphy of this period is that numerous pages were ascribed to `Imad al-Hasani, some of which were undoubtedly written by others and signed in his honour, to imitate him, so it is not always possible to confirm the identity of the calligrapher. The quality of the central four lines of Nasta’liq are remarkably fine, which means that it is not impossible to ascribe the work to the Safavid master, but it is equally possible that it was completed by a student in his honour, possibly one of his own relatives who had fled to India.

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A CALLIGRAPHIC PANEL, ATTRIBUTED TO `IMAD AL-HASSANI

Listed price: $30,000.00
 

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