HISTORIC PERSIAN CALLIGRAPHY ARTISTS:
Among all those great names in the history of Persian Calligraphy, four figures are the most famous ones: Mir-Ali Tabrizi, Mir-Emad, Kalhor, and Emad-ol-Kottab.
Mir-Ali Tabrizi: He lived in 14th and 15th century. He is known as father of Nas-Taliq because he invented this beautiful calligraphy style by means of combining two older styles together (Naskh and Taliq) and adding a flavor of nature into it. Therefore, this calligraphy style implemented natural curves rather than Naskh and Taliq styles.
A Sample of Mir-Ali’s Art Pieces (Louvre Museum - Paris)
Mir-Emad: He is probably the most prominent Persian Calligrapher ever! His full name is Mir-Emad Hassani and lived in 16th century. He was originally from city of Qazvin where he started learning calligraphy. Then he moved to the city of Tabriz where he attended Mohammad-Hossein Tabrizi's calligraphy classes. He modified Nas’taliq style and altered its structure.
A Sample of Mir-Emad’s Art Pieces
Mierza Mohammad-Reza Kalhor: He was born in1828 in city of Kermanshah, western part of Iran. His first mentor was his own cousin who had a nice hand-writing. As he moved to Tehran - capital of Iran - he worked on his calligraphy skill in Nas’taliq style and after a few years of hard work, his artistic talent impressed every one including his calligraphy teacher. He told Kalhor: "... to control your hand's movements is as if you want to train a wild horse. Now that you have done so, make it as perfect as possible; create your own style in such a way that without signing your master pieces people can tell that it is your work!...." He did so and became Nasser-eddin Shah's (king of Iran at the time) calligraphy tutor and met Amir-Kabir, his prime minister who promoted and encouraged Iranian scientists and artists and had a noticeable positive impact on the country's cultural affairs at his time. Kalhor had a special interest in Mir Emad's calligraphy style and followed his rules in calligraphy; but ultimately he had his own flavor in Persian calligraphy that makes his art different.
A Sample of Mirza Mohammad Reza Kalhor's Arts
Emad-ol-Kottab (1861-1936): He was born in city of Qazvin. When he was a young man, he had a hard time living in poverty until later on his artistic talent in calligraphy helped him as he became royal calligrapher and he hand-wrote Ferdowsi's -a famous Iranian poet who lived in 11th century- poem book for Mozaffar-eddin Shah, king of Iran at the time. A few years later he became Ahmad Shah's calligraphy tutor. Even after Ahmad Shah's era, when Reza Shah Pahlavi took over, he became his command writer. He also mentored his son who became second Shah (king) in Pahlavi's dynasty.
OTHER HISTORICAL PERSIAN CALLIGRAPHERS:
Soltan-ali Mashadi: He lived in 15th century and mentored a many calligraphy students who later on became prominent calligraphers themselves. He used his artistic calligraphy skills to re-write poem books of a few prominent Persian poets such as Hafez, Jaami, and Khaajeh Abdollah Ansaari.
Yaqoot Mosta'sami: His full name is Jamal-eddin Yaqoot Mosta’sami and he lived in 13th century. It is believed that he hand-wrote 364 full-versions of the holy book of Koran at his life time. Seven of his pupils became great masters of their own time and that is why Yaqoot is called master of the seven masters.
Mirza Qolam-Reza Esfahani : He was one of the most prominent historic figure both in Nas’taliq and Cursive Nas’taliq styles who lived in 19th century.
Darvish Abd-ol-Majid Taleqani: He is the most important historical figure in Cursive Nas’taliq style.
PERSIAN CALLIGRAPHERS OF LAST CENTURY
Hussein Mir-Khani: Born in 1905 in Tehran, he started his calligraphy lessons with his father. He is one of the founders of "Iranian Society of Calligraphers". Extreme progress and popularity of Persian calligraphy in Iran and even in the international community is because of tireless efforts of this great Persian Calligrapher. He mastered Nas’taliq and wrote the whole holy book of Koran two times.
Hassan Mir-Khani: Born in 1912 in Tehran, he also started his calligraphy lessons with his father along with his older brother, Hussein. He was a master in a variety of calligraphy styles, Nas’taliq , Cursive Nas’taliq , Sols, Naskh to mention a few.
Hassan Mir-Khani Hussein Mir-Khani
Ali-Akbar Kaveh: Born in 1933, he had a chance to attend Emad-ol-Kottab's calligraphy classes. Later on he became so prominent at his time that he is named as "Mir-Emad of Contemporary Time".
CONTEMPORARY PERSIAN CALLIGRAPHERS
Amirkhani: His full name is Qolam-Hussein Amirkhani and he was born in 1939. He is president of Iranian Calligraphers Committee and the most prominent contemporary master in Nas’taliq style. Amirkhani attended Hassan Mir-Khani and Hussein Mir-Khani's calligraphy classes until he mastered Nas’taliq and now it is more than 40 years that he teaches calligraphy in the Iranian Calligraphers Committee. He also has authored 12 books about Persian Calligraphy and conducted numerous international art exhibits. He is currently authoring a new comprehensive calligraphy book in which he explains his techniques in Nas’taliq . This book will be about 200 pages and soon will be released.
Master Amirkhani, the most prominent contemporary master in Nas’taliq
A Master Piece in "Nas’taliq" style by Amirkhani
Kaboli: His full name is Yadollah Kaboli Khansari. he is born in Khansar, a beautiful city in the central regions of Iran. Decades ago he and two other calligraphy masters and under Hassan Mir-Khani's supervision conducted a comprehensive research about Cursive Nas’taliq style. At the time, this beautiful style had gone into hibernation for half a century. By going through master pieces in the museums and in personal collections, he managed to revive Cursive Nas’taliq style. Learning from master pieces of "Darvish Abd-ol-Majid Taleqani" and others, he managed to make a combination of pure traditional art and contemporary graphical techniques to enhance Cursive Nas’taliq to perfection.
Master Kaboli, the most prominent contemporary figure in "Cursive Nas’taliq" style
A Master Piece in "Cursive Nas’taliq" style by Yadollah Kaboli