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Detail of folio from the Gulshan Album. Calligraphy by Mir Ali Haravi. Probably Uzbekistan, Bukhara, Sheybanid period, ca. 1540. Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper. Purchase, F1956.12

Nasta‛liq: The Genius of Persian Calligraphy

September 13, 2014–May 3, 2015
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Nasta‛liq: The Genius of Persian Calligraphy is the first exhibition of its kind to focus on nasta‛liq, a calligraphic script that developed in the fourteenth century in Iran and remains one of the most expressive forms of aesthetic refinement in Persian culture to this day. More than twenty works ranging in date from 1400 to 1600, the height of nasta‛liq’s development, tell the story of the script’s transformation from a simple conveyer of the written word to an artistic form of its own. The narrative thread emphasizes the achievements of four of the greatest master calligraphers—Mir Ali Tabrizi, Sultan Ali Mashhadi, Mir Ali Haravi, and Mir Imad Hasani—whose manuscripts and individual folios are still appreciated not only for their content but also for their technical virtuosity and visual quality.

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