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῾Abdallah Sayrafi

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The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture What is This? Provides in-depth historical and cultural information on over a thousand years of Islamic art and architecture

῾Abdallah Sayrafi

(b. ?Tabriz; fl. 1310–44).

Calligrapher. The son of Khwaja Mahmud Sarraf al-Tabrizi, he was a pupil of Haydar, one of the six followers of Yaqut al-musta῾simi. ῾Abdallah Sayrafi spent his life in the Ilkhanid capital of Tabriz where he designed inscriptions in glazed tile for two buildings, the Dimishqiyya Madrasa and the building called “The Master and the Pupil” (both destr.). He wrote a short treatise on calligraphy (Berlin, Staatsbib. Preuss. Kultbes., Orientabt., MS. or. oct. 48); a page of calligraphy in thuluth, naskh, and riqā῾ (Baghdad, Iraq Mus., 1324) shows that he had mastered the six classical scripts (see Calligraphy, §III, C). He penned several Koran manuscripts, including one in naskh (Mashhad, 1320; Imam Riza Shrine Mus.) and another in muḥaqqaq (1327; Dublin, Chester Beatty Lib., MS. 1468). The first volume of the Great Mongol Shāhnāma (dispersed) has also been assigned to his hand. His work was still renowned in the 15th century, and his style was followed by Ja῾far (see also Calligraphy, §IV, B). When the Timurid prince Ibrahim Sultan restored the Friday Mosque at Shiraz in 1417–18, he had a stone with a Koranic inscription designed by ῾Abdallah Sayrafi transported there from Tabriz.

Bibliography

  • Enc. Iran.
  • Qāżī Ahmad ibn Mīr Munshī: Gulistān-i hunar [Rose-garden of art] (c.1606); Eng. trans. by V. Minorsky as Calligraphers and Painters (Washington, DC, 1959), pp. 61–3
  • S. S. Blair: The Ilkhanid Shrine Complex at Natanz, Iran (Cambridge, MA, 1986), p. 13
  • A. Soudavar: “The Saga of Abu-Sa῾id Bahador Khan: The Abu-Sa῾idnama,” The Court of the Il-khans, 1290–1340, ed. J. Raby and T. Fitzherbert (Oxford, 1996), pp. 95–218
  • S. S. Blair, Islamic Calligraphy (Edinburgh, 2006), pp. 255–7
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