ʿABD-AL-RAZZĀQ, name of two artists of the Safavid period.

1. Miniature painter, apparently active in the second half of the 9th/15th century in Herat. His name has been transmitted only by a handwritten entry of the Mughal emperor Jahāngīr from the year 1014/1605 and by an apocryphal signature of the artist, both in the famous illustrated Ḵamsa of Neẓāmī in the British Museum (Or. 6810; Herat, 900/1494-95). Jahāngīr writes that sixteen miniatures are by Behzād, five by his teacher Mīrak, and one by ʿAbd-al-Razzāq. Earlier investigators did not succeed in establishing convincing attributions of the miniatures to these artists, as they were also puzzled by numerous apocryphal signatures and false identifications attached to the paintings. I. Stchoukine was the first to publish an intensive critical analysis of the style, clarifying not only Behzād’s contributions to this ms., but also giving a hypothetical attribution of the painting on fol. 5v to ʿAbd-al-Razzāq. This miniature (Plate IV), depicting the Night Journey of the Prophet Moḥammad to heaven (meʿrāǰ), differs by its lively motion and its creative narrative qualities from the more traditional and orthodox style of the paintings of Mīrak. The Prophet, unveiled as usual in Timurid art, is riding on his man-headed horse, Borāq, accompanied by a multitude of angels in ornamental, stylized cloudbands. Below is Mecca with its houses, minarets, and its holy district with the Kaʿba, surrounded by high walls with crenellations. This minute and naive but charming depiction of Mecca differs from Behzād’s principles of cosmic unity. I. Stchoukine refers to the illustrated Meṛʿāǰnāma (Bibliothèque Nationale, Suppl. turc. no. 190; Herat, 840/1436) as a prototype on which ʿAbd-al-Razzāq seems to be dependent. A still earlier model was found by R. Ettinghausen on fol. 6r of the miscellany ms., B.M. Add. 27261, dated 813/1410. 


I. Stchoukine, “Les peintures de la Khamseh de Nizámi du British Museum Or. 6810,” Syria 27, 1950, pp. 301-13.

Idem, Les peintures des manuscripts Timūrides, Paris, 1954, pp. 78-80, 131-32, Pl. 69.

F. R. Martin and Sir Thomas Arnold, The Nizami MS. in the British Museum (Or. 6810), Vienna, 1926, Pl. 5.

E. J. Grube, The World of Islam, London, 1966, p. 134, Pl. 58, 59.

R. Ettinghausen, “Die bildliche Darstellung der Kaʿba im islamischen Kulturkreis,” ZDMG 87, 1934, pp. 121, 127.

M. Lukens-Swietochowski, “The School of Herat from 1450 to 1506,” in B. Gray, ed., The Arts of the Book in Central Asia, UNESCO, 1979, pp. 199, 206, 208, illus. no. 110.

2. Calligrapher and reciter at the court of Shah ʿAbbās I (989-1038/1581-1629) in Isfahan. He was nephew and pupil of the famous Mīr ʿEmād (d. 1024 or 1027/1615 or 1618) and had pupils himself. He died in Isfahan, where he was buried beside his uncle and teacher.

Bibliography : Cl. Huart, Les calligraphes et les miniaturistes de l’Orient Musulman, Paris, 1908 (reprint 1972), p. 245.

(D. Duda)

Originally Published: December 15, 1982

Last Updated: July 14, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 2, pp. 151-153

Cite this entry:

D. Duda, “Abd-Al-Razzaq,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/2, pp. 151-153; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/abd-al-razzaq-name-of-two-artists-of-the-safavid-period (accessed on 16 January 2014).