Most Famous Nastaliq Calligraphy Artists


There are so many great names in the history of Nastaliq calligraphy; however, there are four artists known as the most famous ones:

1- Mir-Ali Tabrizi

2- Mir-Emad Al-Hassani Qazvini

3- Mirza Mohammad-reza Kalhor

4- Emad-ol-Kottab.


Mir-Ali Tabrizi:

He lived in 14th and 15th century. He is known as father of Nastaliq calligraphy because he invented this beautiful calligraphy style by means of combining two older styles together (Naskh and Taliq) and adding a flavor of nature into it. Therefore, this calligraphy style implemented natural curves rather than Naskh and Taliq styles.

A Sample of Mir-Ali’s Art Pieces (Louvre Museum - Paris)



He is probably the most prominent Nastaliq Calligrapher in the entire history of Nastaliq!

He lived in 16th century and he was originally from city of Qazvin where he started learning Nastaliq for the first time. Then he moved to the city of Tabriz where he attended Mohammad-Hossein Tabrizi's Nastaliq calligraphy classes. He modified Nastaliq style and altered the structure of this calligraphic style.

A Sample of Mir-Emad’s Art Pieces


Mierza Mohammad-Reza Kalhor:

He was born in1828 in city of Kermanshah, western part of Iran. His first mentor was his own cousin who had a nice hand-writing. As he moved to Tehran - capital of Iran - he worked on his Nastaliq calligraphy skills and after a few years of hard work, his artistic talent impressed every one including his own Nastaliq teacher. He told Kalhor: "... to control your hand's movements is as if you want to train a wild horse. Now that you have done so, make it as perfect as possible; create your own style in such a way that without signing your master pieces people can tell that it is your work!...." He did so and became Nasser-eddin Shah's (king of Persia at the time) calligraphy tutor and met Amir-Kabir, his prime minister who promoted and encouraged Persian scientists and artists and had a noticeable positive impact on the country's cultural affairs at his time. Kalhor had a special interest in Mir Emad's calligraphy style and followed his rules in calligraphy; but ultimately he had his own flavor in Nastaliq calligraphy that makes his art different.

  Nastaliq Calligraphy by Mirza Mohammad Reza Kalhor 


Emad-ol-Kottab (1861-1936): He was born in city of Qazvin. When he was a young man, he had a hard time living in poverty until later on his artistic talent in calligraphy helped him as he became royal calligrapher and he hand-wrote Ferdowsi's -a famous Iranian poet who lived in 11thcentury- poem book for Mozaffar-eddin Shah, king of Iran at the time. A few years later he became Ahmad Shah's calligraphy tutor. Even after Ahmad Shah's era, when Reza Shah Pahlavi took over, he became his command writer. He also mentored his son who became second Shah (king) in Pahlavi's dynasty.



Soltan-ali Mashadi: He lived in 15th century and mentored a many calligraphy students who later on became prominent calligraphers themselves. He used his artistic Nastaliq skills to re-write poem books of a few prominent Persian poets such as Hafez, Jaami, and Khaajeh Abdollah Ansaari.

Yaqoot Mosta'sami: His full name is Jamal-eddin Yaqoot Mosta’sami and he lived in 13th century. It is believed that he hand-wrote 364 full-versions of the holy book of Koran at his life time. Seven of his pupils became great masters of their own time and that is why Yaqoot is called master of the seven masters.

Mirza Qolam-Reza Esfahani : He was one of the most prominent historic figure both in Nastaliq and Cursive Nastaliq styles who lived in 19th century.

Darvish Abd-ol-Majid Taleqani: He is the most important historical figure in Cursive Nastaliq style.



Hussein Mir-Khani: Born in 1905 in Tehran, he started his Nastaliq lessons with his father. He is one of the founders of "Iranian Society of Calligraphers". Extreme progress and popularity of Nastaliq calligraphy in Iran and even in the international community is because of tireless efforts of this great master calligrapher. He mastered Nastaliq and wrote the whole holy book of Koran two times.

Hassan Mir-Khani: Born in 1912 in Tehran, he also started his calligraphy lessons with his father along with his older brother, Hussein. He was a master in a variety of calligraphy styles, Nas’taliq , Cursive Nas’taliq , Sols, Naskh to mention a few.


Hassan Mir-Khani and  Hussein Mir-Khani


Ali-Akbar Kaveh: Born in 1933, he had a chance to attend Emad-ol-Kottab's calligraphy classes. Later on he became so prominent at his time that he is named as "Mir-Emad of Contemporary Time".



Gholamhossein Amirkhani:                                                                                                             

Master Qolamhossein Amirkhani was born in 1939. He is the president of Iranian Calligraphers Committee and the most prominent contemporary master in Nastaliq style. Amirkhani attended Hassan Mir-Khani and Hussein Mir-Khani's Nastaliq calligraphy classes until he mastered this style and now it is more than 40 years that he teaches calligraphy in the Iranian Calligraphers Committee. He also has authored 12 books about Nastaliq Calligraphy and conducted numerous international art exhibits. He is currently authoring a new comprehensive calligraphy book in which he explains his techniques in Nastaliq in detail. This book will be about 200 pages and soon will be released.


Master Amirkhani, Nastaliq calligraphy master

A Master Piece in Nastaliq calligraphy by Amirkhani


  Yadollah Kaboli:                                                                                                                                              

His full name is Yadollah Kaboli Khansari. he is born in Khansar, a beautiful city in the central regions of Iran. Decades ago he and two other calligraphy masters and under Hassan Mir-Khani's supervision conducted a comprehensive research about "Cursive Nastaliq" style. At the time, this beautiful style had gone into hibernation for half a century. By going through master pieces in the museums and in personal collections, he managed to revive "Cursive Nastaliq" style. Learning from master pieces of "Darvish Abd-ol-Majid Taleqani" and others, he managed to make a combination of pure traditional art and contemporary graphical techniques to enhance "Cursive Nastaliq" to perfection.

Kaboli, "Cursive Nastaliq" master

A Master Piece in "Cursive Nastaliq" style by Kaboli