GOLESTĀNA, ʿALI-AKBAR (b. 1274/1857-58; d. 1319/1901; Figure 1), a renowned calligrapher, scholar, and mystic of late 19th century Persia. He was born into the prominent Sādāt-Golestāna family in 1274/1857-58 and received his early training in Isfahan. A religious man, Golestāna devoted the first half of his life to disseminating Sufi teachings and writing treatises on mysticism and ethics. As a youthful calligrapher, he demonstrated a distinguished talent in the nastaʿliq script and later became a master of šekasta and šekasta-nastaʿliq (Figure 2; see CALLIGRAPHY). After traveling to Khorasan, Fārs, and Iraq, he spent the later years of his life in Tehran (“Golestāna,” p. 89). Extant examples of Golestāna’s work are included in an album of twenty-six pages of calligraphy in nastaʿliq and šekasta-nastaʿliq. One of these contains a signature providing evidence that Golestāna served at the court of Moẓaffar-al-Din Shah Qājār (r. 1313-24/1896-1907; Fażāʾeli, pp. 625-26; Bayāni, II, pp. 437-38). Golestāna’s calligraphy achieved the refinement of such masters of the šekasta script as Darviš ʿAbd-al-Majid Ṭālaqāni, which earned him the title Eḥtešām-al-Sādāt. Golestāna died in 1319/1901 at the young age of forty-five. His works are primarily preserved in the former Imperial Library in Tehran (Ketābḵāna-ye salṭanati; Bayāni, II, p. 438).
Mahdi Bayāni, Aḥwāl wa āṯār-e ḵošnevisān, 4 vols .,Tehran, 1363 Š./1984, II, pp. 437-38.
Ḥabib-Allāh Fażāʾeli, Aṭlas-e ḵaṭṭ: taḥqiq dar ḵoṭuṭ-e eslāmi, Isfahan, 1362 Š./1983. pp. 625-27.
“Golestāna,” Honar o mardom no. 145, 1353 Š./ 1974, pp. 87-91.
Survey of Persian Art V, p. 1741.
ʿAli Rāhjiri, Peydāyeš-e ḵaṭṭ wa ḵaṭṭātān ba enżemām-e taḏkera-ye ḵošnevisān, Tehran, 1366 Š./1988.
Originally Published: December 15, 2001
Last Updated: December 15, 2001