This article will consider the life and work of Áqá Ḥusayn-i-Iṣfahání, called Mishkín-Qalam. Known for his outstanding ability at calligraphy, Mishkín-Qalam was invited to work at the court of the Qájár ruler Náṣiri’d-Dín Sháh during the late 1850s. In the 1860s the artist became caught up in the events surrounding the birth of the Bahá’í Revelation and he moved to Edirne to be near its exiled founder Bahá’u’lláh. Intrigues at the court of the Ottoman Sultan led to the arrest of Mishkín-Qalam and to his subsequent imprisonment in the fortress of Famagusta on the island of Cyprus. The discussion will center on the calligraphic compositions created by Mishkín-Qalam during his stay in Famagusta and also on those done during his last years where he rejoined Bahá’u’lláh in the city of ‘Akká. The roots of his artistic expression in Islamic calligraphic traditions will be considered as well as the extent to which his forms were adapted to proclaim the message of the Bahá’í Faith.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. If you wish to adapt, remix, transform, or build upon this work in any way, you may not distribute your work without first contacting the Editor for permission.