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Manuscript/Mixed Material Eulogy to a ruler

About this Item


  • Eulogy to a ruler


  • Kamal al-Din (Ikhtiyar al-Munshi)

Created / Published

  • ca. 1500-1550


  • -  Calligraphy, Arabic
  • -  Calligraphy, Persian
  • -  Manuscripts, Arabic--Washington (D.C.)
  • -  Iran--Tabrīz
  • -  Arabic script calligraphy
  • -  Illuminated Islamic manuscripts
  • -  Islamic calligraphy
  • -  Islamic manuscripts


  • -  Eulogistic composition in Persian (insha') to a king written in the "hanging" ta'liq script by Persian calligrapher, Kamal al-Din Husayn (d. 974/1566-7). Arabic prayers (du'as) around the boarder.
  • -  Dimensions of Written Surface: 14 (w) x 24.5 (h) cm
  • -  He was a contemporary of Shah Mahmud al-Nishapuri, one of whose works is held in the collections of the Library of Congresss (1-87-154.155).
  • -  In the lower right corner of the central text panel appears the calligrapher's signature in black ink. It reads: mashaqahu al-faqir al-haqir ikhtiyar al-munshi, or "written by the poor, lowly, elderly secretary." Ikhtiyar al-Munshi ("the Elderly Secretary") was the nickname (laqab) of Kamal al-Din Husayn (d. 974/1566-7), a calligrapher active during the reign of the Safavid ruler, Shah Tahmasp (r. 1524-76). The monarch supported his work in Tabriz and offered him a number of rewards, which Kamal al-Din refused. He also made him his personal secretary and bestowed upon him the honorific epithet "the Elderly, Royal Secretary" (Ikhtiyar al-Munshi al-Sultani). Even though he was blind in one eye, he was a master of all calligraphic scripts, especially nasta'liq (Huart 1972, 232). Judging from this specimen -- as well as others in the Library of Congress (1-87-154.157) and the Sackler Gallery of Art (29.63 and 29.64) -- he also was a master of ta'liq and tarassul.
  • -  This calligraphic fragment includes a central panel with an eulogistic composition (insha') to a king written in the "hanging" ta'liq script. Except for one line written in black ink, all other horizontal and diagonal lines are written in white and outlined in black ink. Above the text panel appears a bayt (verse) divided into two columns about the power of miracles (mu'jizat) composed by the great Persian poet Nizami (d. 614/1218). The bayt is written in black nasta'liq script on beige paper. All around the text panel appears a blue border inscribed with Arabic prayers (du'as) written in black ta'liq script. The entirety of the composition is pasted to a large beige paper decorated with gold flecks and backed by cardboard.
  • -  Script: various
  • -  1-04-713.19.36


  • 1 volume ; 23.2 (w) x 35 (h) cm


  • Library of Congress African and Middle Eastern Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2019714537

Online Format

  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

The contents of the Library of Congress Selections of Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman Calligraphy are in the public domain or have no known copyright restrictions and are free to use and reuse.

Credit Line: Library of Congress, African and Middle East Division, Near East Section Persian Manuscript Collection

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Kamal Al-Din. Eulogy to a Ruler. to 1550, ca. 1500. Manuscript/Mixed Material.

APA citation style:

Kamal Al-Din. (ca. 1500) Eulogy to a Ruler. to 1550. [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Kamal Al-Din. Eulogy to a Ruler. to 1550, ca. 1500. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.