ABU’L-ḤASAN MOSTAWFĪ, painter and historian of the 12th/18th century from Kāšān, son of Mīrzā Moʿezz-al-dīn Moḥammad Ḡaffārī. Under Karīm Khan Zand, Abu’l-Ḥasan was governor of Kāšān, Qom, Naṭanz and Jowšeqān for more than thirty years, beginning in 1162/1749. Later he became Karīm Khan’s secretary and wrote a history of his reign, Golšān-e morād, a detailed and important source for the period. It was completed until the end of the dynasty by Abu’l-Ḥasan’s son Moḥammad-Bāqer, also a historian and painter, in Kāšān in 1210/1795-96.
A talented portrait painter, Abu’l-Ḥasan signed his works “al-Mostawfī.” He was the great paternal uncle of Abu’l-Ḥasan Khan Ḡaffārī, who was in turn the uncle of Moḥammad Kamāl-al-molk Ḡaffārī (cf. Y. Godard’s references to the Ḡaffārī family from Kāšān, Survey of Persian Art3, Tehran and Tokyo, 1977, V, p. 1900). Among Abu’l-Ḥasan Mostawfī’s outstanding works are two portraits of his father Moʿezz-al-dīn (one dated 1196/1782) seated and smoking a water pipe; a portrait of Shah Ṣafī (dated 1208/1793-94); a miniature of Qāżī ʿAbd-al-Moṭṭaleb Ḡaffārī (dated Moḥarram, 1209/August, 1794), the great grandfather of Abu’l-Ḥasan, riding a mule on his way as the delegate from Kāšān to participate in the election of Nāder Afšar as king; a portrait of Karīm Khan Zand (dated 1209/1794-95, sixteen years after his death); a portrait of Abu’l-Ḥasan’s grandfather Qāżī Aḥmad (dated 1212/1797-98), seated in a garden, a boy sleeping in the background (M. T. Mostawfī, “Čand nasl-e honarmand dar yak dūdmān-e čand ṣad sāla-ye Kāšān,” Naqš o negār, 1329 Š./1950, no. 7, pp. 30-44). Abu’l-Ḥasan’s son writes in Golšān-e morād that his father died before 1210/1795-96, but this is untenable, since there exist incontestable works painted by him until 1212/1797-98.
Golšān-e morād, ms. dated 1210/1796, Malek library, Tehran, no. 4333.
Q. Ḡanī, Yāddāšthā-ye Doktor Qāsem Ḡanī V, London, 1981.
Y. Godard in the catalogue, Iran, Paris, Musée Cernuschi, July, 1948.
Abu’l-Ḥasan Golestāna, Moǰmal al-tawārīḵ baʿd al-nāderī, ed. Modarres Rażawī, Tehran, 1320 Š./1941.
H. Hedayātī, Tārīḵ-e Zandīya I, Tehran, 1334 Š./1955.
Moḥammad-Ṣādeq Mūsawī Nāmī, Tārīḵ-e gītī-gošā, ed. S. Nafīsī, Tehran, 1317 Š./1938.
Ḥ. Narāqī and F. Ḡaffārī, Ḵānadān-e Ḡaffārī-e Kāšān, Tehran, 1353 Š./1974.
ʿAbd-al-Raḥīm Żarrābī, Tārīḵ-e Kāšān, ed. Ī. Afšār, Tehran, 1341 Š./1962.
Originally Published: December 15, 1983
Last Updated: July 21, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 3, p. 311
F. Gaffary, “ABU’L-ḤASAN MOSTAWFĪ,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/3, p. 311; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/abul-hasan-mostawfi-painter-and-historian-of-the-12th-18th-century-from-kasan-son-of-mirza-moezz-al-din-mohammad-gaffari (accessed on 31 January 2014).