|The album from which this page comes contains the work of famous calligraphers, many of whom lived in Bukhara, Meshed and Herat. Much of the illumination is also from that area, so the pages may well have been collected and illuminated in Meshed.
This album, as it presently stands, was compiled in the early 19th century. Each page is tastefully assembled from the work of different masters of Nasta'liq. The two small central panels at the bottom are unsigned, but thc one on the right bears the name of Sultan Ali Mashadi and the date 1513. On the left is a panel dated 1533 "at Bukhara" and signed by Mir Sheikh al-Purani. This is probably Bayazid al-Purani, a fellow pupil of Sultan Ali, who spent some time in Bukhara, where he produced an inscription for the mihrab of the Masjid Jami (Great Mosque). However, as Bayazid is said to have gone to India at the beginning of the 16th century, we would have to assume that he had returned to Bukhara by 1533.
The largest piece, at the top of the page, is of considerable historical and calligraphic interest. It is signed at the bottom by Mahmud al-Mudhahhib (Mahmud the Painter), a well-known calligrapher and artist who was active in mid-16th century Bukhara. He illustrated a number of manuscripts, including one in the Bibliotheque nationale, Paris (Pers. 1264), copied by Mir Ali Heravi (cf n° 54) in 1538. Mahmud was Mir Ali's student and accompanied him to Bukhara, when the latter was taken there by the Uzbeks in 1528.
According to an inscription in the top left-hand corner and continued after the second line of the poem, this piece is a copy of the work of the late Mir Ali, here called "al-Husayni". It is dated 1554 and Mir Ali is referred to as "the late " indicating that he was dead by this time. The exact year of his death is unknown. The addition of "al-Husayni" after the name of Mir Ali is a little confusing, but it would appear that the great master sometimes used this, probably referring to his supposed descent from the Shiite martyr al-Husayn Ibn Ali (died in 680 AD).