Illustrated and illuminated album page with calligraphy by Mir `Ali, Bukhara, mid-16th century
This album page comes from a series the majority of which is in the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University (1958.63-74). These were exhibited in 1980 and the catalogue tells us that there is a colophon naming the calligrapher as Mir `Ali al-Harawi, the celebrated 16th-century master (see Simpson 1980, nos.25, 76-85, discussion p.74) . The anthology from which they originate contains mystical poetry and several miniatures, and the illuminated pages of calligraphy are all exactly like the present one in format, with two lines of nasta`liq and two small figures of youths. The style of the figures is unmistakebly Bukharan.
The calligrapher Mir `Ali was the most famous of the 16th-century masters. He studied under Zayn al-Din Mahmud and Sultan `Ali al-Mashhadi. He was in Herat until 1528, when he was captured by the Uzbeks and taken to Bukhara, where he remained until his death around 1558-60.
Another page from the same series from the Art and History Trust Collection is illustrated in Soudavar 1992, no.79.