BĀBĀ JĀN ḴORĀSĀNĪ, also known as Ḥāfeẓ Bābā Jān Torbatī, calligrapher, poet, and craftsman the first half of the 10th/16th century. He was the son of Ḥāfeẓ ʿAbd-al-ʿAlī Torbatī, a religious figure connected with the court of Sultan Ḥosayn Bāyqarā. Bābā Jān’s brother Ḥāfeẓ Qāsem was a noted singer and Bābā Jān himself was a gifted player of the ʿūd. Sām Mīrzā praises him not only as a musician and calligrapher but also as an expert in the inlaying of gold into ivory. Despite these references to his many skills the circumstances of Bābā Jān’s life and the scope of his activities remain obscure. Qāżī Aḥmad states that the family moved from Herat to Iraq, but gives no further details. M. Bayānī suggests that he may have been associated with the Safavid prince Bahrām Mīrzā and that he can be identified with a certain “Bābā Jān Bahrāmī” whose calligraphy appears in the album prepared for Bahrām Mīrzā now in the Topkapı Sarayı Library, Istanbul. If Bābā Jān Ḵorāsānī was a well-known calligrapher at the court of Bahrām Mīrzā it is puzzling that his name does not appear in the preface to this album written by Dōst Moḥammad.
Bayānī, Ḵošnevīsān I, pp. 83-84.
Sām Mīrzā, Toḥfa-ye Sāmī, p. 82.
Qāżī Aḥmad, Golestān-e honar, p. 82; tr. Minorsky, Calligraphers and Painters, p. 148.
Originally Published: December 15, 1988
Last Updated: August 18, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. III, Fasc. 3, p. 292