ʿABD-AL-RAḤĪM B. ʿABD-AL-RAḤMĀN ḴᵛĀRAZMĪ, calligrapher and poet active in western Iran during the second half of the 9th/15th century. Apparently born and trained in Shiraz, where his father worked as a calligrapher, ʿAbd-al-Raḥīm’s style of calligraphy was influential there until the late 9th/15th century. The exact date of ʿAbd-al-Raḥīm’s birth is unknown; but a piece of calligraphy now in Istanbul states that it was copied during his 11th year, suggesting that he began his training at an early age. Dated samples of his work range from Jomādā II, 864/March-April, 1460 to 899/1493-94. ʿAbd-al-Raḥīm achieved greatest renown through his association with Yaʿqūb b. Ḥasan Āq Qoyonlū, ruler of western Iran between 883/1478 and 896/1490. Qāżī Aḥmad states that the epithet “Anīsī” which ʿAbd-al-Raḥīm used as a pen name (taḵalloṣ) was bestowed on him by Yaʿqūb in recognition of their friendship. Colophons indicate that he also worked for two other members of the Āq Qoyonlū dynasty: Ḵalīl b. Ḥasan and Rostam b. Yaʿqūb. It is possible that ʿAbd-al-Raḥīm’s association with Ḵalīl began shortly after the latter’s appointment as governor of Shiraz toward the end of 875/spring, 1471. A manuscript of the Dīvān of ʿAlī Šīr Navāʾī now in Cairo (Lit. Turc. 68, Egyptian National Lib.) was copied by ʿAbd-al-Raḥīm in 876/1471-72. Although it bears no dedication to Ḵalīl, it may have been intended for him or another high official, since one of the painters illustrating it, probably Darvīš Moḥammad, became a leading member of Ḵalīl’s workshop in subsequent years. Information given in the postscript attached to a manuscript now in Istanbul (Topkapi Saray Library, Hazine 762), implies that ʿAbd-al-Raḥīm was one of the principal calligraphers working for Ḵalīl. According to this statement Yaʿqūb b. Ḥasan inherited the workshop (ḵārḵāna) of his brother Ḵalīl. While ʿAbd-al-Raḥīm is not mentioned by name, he did in fact copy this manuscript, completing the first portion of it in 880/1475-76, presumably for Ḵalīl. In this colophon he uses the epithet “al-Solṭānī”. The second portion of the text, completed on 26 Moḥarram 886/27 March 1481, was also signed with the epithet “al-Yaʿqūbī.” Thus this manuscript with its colophons and postscript provides direct evidence of the relationship of ʿAbd-al-Raḥīm to the workshops of both Ḵalīl and Yaʿqūb and provides an insight into the manner in which the atelier of Yaʿqūb was formed. Another manuscript now in Istanbul, an anthology of poetry (Aya Sofya no. 3946), was copied by ʿAbd-al-Raḥīm and bears the date 26 Ḏu’l-qaʿda 879/3 April 1475. Again he uses the epithet “al-Solṭānī,” which suggests that the manuscript was produced for Ḵalīl b. Ḥasan.

The close association between ʿAbd-al-Raḥīm and Yaʿqūb b. Ḥasan is mentioned by Qāżī Aḥmad, Dūst Moḥammad, and Sām Mīrzā. It is corroborated by the numerous specimens of calligraphy preserved in Istanbul which are signed “ʿAbd-al-Raḥīm al-Yaʿqūbī.” More than twenty such pages are found in Hazine 2153, and several more are in Hazine 2160. The fate of artists associated with Yaʿqūb b. Ḥasan in the difficult years which followed his death is difficult to document. Some pieces of calligraphy exist where ʿAbd-al-Raḥīm signs with the epithet “al-Rostamī,” suggesting that he was attached to the group which supported the claim of Rostam b. Yaʿqūb to the throne. The last dated specimen of the calligraphy of ʿAbd-al-Raḥīm which survives is dated to 899/1493-94. Interestingly it is the colophon to a manuscript of his own poetry, the Dīvān of Anīsī, and is dedicated to a certain Amīr Moḥammad b. al-Dastūr al-Aʿẓam al-Amīr Fażlallāh b. Rūzbehān Ḵonǰī, the author of the principal history of the reign of Yaʿqūb b. Ḥasan, Tārīḵ-e ʿālamārā-ye Amīnī.

In the career of ʿAbd-al-Raḥīm b. ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān can be seen the continuity between the workshops of Shiraz in the 1470s and those of Tabrīz in the late 1480s and 1490s. The last colophon bearing his name also suggests that the leading officials of the Āq Qoyonlū state patronized artists during the declining years of that dynasty, thus contributing to the artistic continuity between the Āq Qoyonlū and Safavid eras.


Primary sources: Dūst Moḥammad, A Treatise on Calligraphists and Miniaturists, ed. M. Abdullah Chaghtai, Lahore, 1936, p. 16.

Qāżī Aḥmad, pp. 57-58; tr., pp. 100-01. Maǰāles al-nafāʾes, p. 30.

Toḥfa-ye Sāmī, p. 81.

Secondary sources: Bayānī, Ḵᵛošnevīsān II, pp. 384-88.

Filiz Çağman, “Topkapı Sarayı Mürzesi Hazine 762 no. lu Nizami Hamsesinin Mintyatürleri,” Sanat Tarihi Yıllığğı 5, 1972-73, Istanbul, pp. 603-05.

I. Stchoukine, “Les manuscrits illustrés musulmans de la Bibliothèque du Caire,” Gazette des Beaux Arts 77 (6. période, 13), 1935, no. 35, p. 151, fig. 8.

Idem, “Les peintures turcomanes et safavies d’une Khamseh de Nizami achevée à Tabriz en 886/1481,” Arts Asiatiques 14, 1966, pp. 3-16.

(P. P. Soucek)

Originally Published: December 15, 1982

Last Updated: July 14, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 2, p. 143

Cite this entry:

P. P. Soucek, “'Abd-Al-Rahim Karazmi,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/2, p. 143; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/abd-al-rahim-karazmi (accessed on 16 January 2014).