DŪST-MOḤAMMAD b. Solaymān HERAVĪ (d. probably Qazvīn, shortly after 972/1564), master calligrapher, the only artist whom Shah Ṭahmāsb I (930-84/1524-76) kept with him after having gradually dismissed all the others from his direct service (Bodāq, fol. 111a; Qāżī Aḥmad, p. 99; tr. Minorsky, p. 147). Although Dūst-Moḥammad may have been involved with ornamentation or other activities connected with the art of the book (Sām Mīrzā, pp. 138-39; Qāżī Aḥmad, p. 99; tr. Minorsky, p. 147), he is not to be confused with his contemporary Dūst-Moḥammad Moṣawwer.

Dūst-Moḥammad studied with the master calligrapher Qāsem Šādīšāh (Bodāq, fol. 111a); his earliest signed work (National Public Library, Saint Petersburg, ms. no. Dorn 147, fols. 37a and 37b; cf. Adle, 1993, fig. 1), produced in Herat in 917/1511-12, includes his father’s name and his nesba (attributive name), Heravī. Another page, dated in Herat 938/1531 (Topkapı Saray library, Istanbul, ms. no. H. 2156, fol. 31b; cf. Adle, 1993, fig. 2), and a Koran, also copied in Herat and dated 944/1538 (Adle, 1993, p. 229; Plate LV), show that he had not yet left this city. The colophon of a maṯ˜nawī attributed by Bernhard Dorn to Farīd-al-Dīn ʿAṭṭār (National Public Library, St. Petersburg, ms. no. Dorn 354, fol. 112a; cf. Dorn, pp. 331-32), signed “Dūst-Moḥammad al-kāteb al-šāhī . . . year 947/1540-41” (Adle, 1993, fig. 3), is evidence that he had left Herat and entered the service of Shah Ṭahmāsb, a position he retained for the rest of his life (Adle, 1993, pp. 226-30). His last known work appears to be a copy of Majāles al-ʿoššāq by Kamāl-al-Dīn Ḥosayn Gāzorgāhī dated 972/1564, now in the Madrasa-ye Sepahsālār in Tehran (Bayānī, Ḵošnevīsān I, p. 191).

Dūst-Moḥammad’s main achievement was an album (moraqqaʿ) of calligraphic pieces and paintings by great masters that he finished assembling in 951/1544 for Prince Bahrām Mīrzā, brother of Shah Ṭahmāsb; it is now in the library of the Topkapı Saray (ms. no. H. 2154). It is both a masterpiece and a major contribution to knowledge of post-Mongol Irano-Turkic artistic culture (Adle, 1990, pp. 219-56). It includes an introduction by Dūst-Moḥammad on the lives of calligraphers and painters (Chaghtai; Bayānī, Ḵošnevīsān I, pp. 192-203; Thackston, pp. 335-49) and appears to be the earliest known example of an album of expressly selected pieces, rather than a random assemblage of pages (Adle, 1993, pp. 221 n. 4, 265-66 n. 174, 278-83).


Bibliography: (For cited works not found in this bibliography, see “Short References.”)

C. Adle, “Autopsia, in absentia. Sur la date de l’introduction et de la constitution de l’album de Bahrâm Mirzâ par Dust-Moḥammad en 951/1544,” Stud. Ir. 19/2, 1990, pp. 219-56.

Idem, “Les artistes nommés Dust-Moḥammad au XVIe siècle,” Stud. Ir. 22/2, 1993, pp. 219-96.

Bodāq Monšī Qazvīnī, Jawāher al-aḵbār, National Public Library, Saint Petersburg, ms. no. Dorn 288.

M. A. Chaghtai, A Treatise on Calligraphers and Painters, Lahore, 1936.

B. Dorn, Catalogue des manuscrits xylographes orientaux de la Bibliothèque Impériale de St. Petersbourg, St. Petersburg, 1852. Sām Mīrzā Ṣafawī, Taḏkera-ye toḥfa-ye sāmī, ed. R. Homāyun Farroḵ, Tehran, n.d. (1347 Š./1968?).

W. M. Thackston, “Preface to the Bahram Mirza Album,” in A Century of Princes. Sources on Timurid History of Art, Cambridge, Mass., 1989, pp. 335-49.

[Plate numbers in this entry have been corrected; the numbers given in the print edition's version of the entry are in error.]

(Chahryar Adle)

Originally Published: December 15, 1996

Last Updated: February 27, 2013

This article is available in print.
Vol. VII, Fasc. 6, p. 601