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Manuscript/Mixed Material Various verses of poetry

About this Item


  • Various verses of poetry


  • Shah Mahmud al-Nishapuri

Created / Published

  • ca. 1500-1550


  • -  Calligraphy, Arabic
  • -  Calligraphy, Persian
  • -  Manuscripts, Persian--Washington (D.C.)
  • -  Iran
  • -  Arabic script calligraphy
  • -  Illuminated Islamic manuscripts
  • -  Islamic calligraphy
  • -  Islamic manuscripts
  • -  Nasta'liq
  • -  Poetry


  • -  Various verses of Persian poetry written by calligrapher Shah Mahmud al-Nishapuri in the Nasta'liq script during the Safavid era Iran.
  • -  Dimensions of Written Surface: 21.5 (w) x 32.3 (h) cm
  • -  In the lower left corner of the panel containing the ruba'i, the "servant" (al-'abd) Shah Mahmud has stated that he wrote this specimen (katabahu). The calligrapher Shah Mahmud al-Nishapuri (d. 972/1564-5 in Mashhad) was one of the most celebrated masters of nasta'liq script active during the reign of the Safavid king Shah Tahmasp (r. 1524-76) in Tabriz. His beautiful handwriting earned him the nickname "Golden Pen" (Zarrin Qalam) and he was a poet in his own right (Qadi Ahmad 1959: 135-138). A number of calligraphic fragments (qit'as) signed by him are held in international collections (see, for example, Safwat 1996, cat. no. 63; and Sackler Gallery of Art no. 37.35 a-b).
  • -  Kamkara nistam yara ka pish-i hazratat / Shima-yi zhirr za hal bi-nava'i ha kunam / Layk daram iltimas-i khil'at-i pakiza / Ta bapusham nadz-i mardum khud nama'iha kunam
  • -  Oh Friend, I am not successful compared to you / I appear small and indigent / Nonetheless, I beg (of you) a clean robe / So that I can wear (it) and show off in front of people
  • -  This calligraphic page includes a number of verses of poetry in the central text area and in the many rectangular panels forming borders. In the main, central text area appears an iambic pentameter quatrain, or ruba'i, written in diagonal. The verses solicit borrowed grandeur and read:
  • -  Verses immediately surrounding the main panel of text are individually cut out and pasted so as to create a textual frame, while verses in the rectangular panels contained on the outermost salmon-colored border are executed directly on the sheet of paper. For this reason, it is possible that these verses were not executed by Shah Mahmud al-Nishapuri. Rather, they may have been added by a different calligrapher or album compiler at a later date. All text panels have been pasted to a larger blue sheet, backed by cardboard, decorated with flowers and plants painted in gold.
  • -  Script: nasta'liq
  • -  1-87-154.155


  • 1 volume ; 27.4 (w) x 38.7 (h) cm


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

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2019714656

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:

Shah Mahmud Al-Nishapuri. Various Verses of Poetry. to 1550, 1550. Manuscript/Mixed Material.

APA citation style:

Shah Mahmud Al-Nishapuri. (1550) Various Verses of Poetry. to 1550. [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Shah Mahmud Al-Nishapuri. Various Verses of Poetry. to 1550, 1550. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.