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 <em>Gulistan</em> by Sa&lsquo;di

Gulistan by Sa‘di

Compared to the calligraphy of Mir Ali Tabrizi, the nasta‘liq script of Sultan Ali Mashhadi introduces a different visual rhythm. Words above the baseline, for example, are executed in a steeper pitch. Variations in the width of strokes further emphasize how the master calligrapher controlled and modulated the script in a spacious, even delicate manner. These characteristics, which are evident in this copy completed early in Sultan Ali’s career, become more accentuated in his later works and in his examples of large nasta‘liq script.

Gulistan by Sa‘di
Signed by Sultan Ali Mashhadi (d. 1520)
Historic Iran, present-day Afghanistan, Herat, Timurid period, dated 1468 (873 AH)
Ink, color, and gold on paper
Gift of the Art and History Trust in honor of Ezzat-Malek Soudavar
Freer Gallery of Art F1998.5 folios 44v–45r