REMEMBERING ALA BEG TABREZI THE GREAT CALLIGRAPHER FROM TABREZ – AN UNKNOWN MANUSCRIPT IN THE LIBRARY ARCHIVES OF CHUGHTAI MUSEUM.
The researcher Daniel Zakrzewski writes about the famous calligrapher ALI BEG TABREZI and talks of a new source of information on calligraphers of Tabrez:
Concerned with the Sufi milieus of his native city, new source in question is a pilgrimage guide to the cemeteries of Tabriz and surrounding villages written by a local Sufi known as Ibn Karbalāʾī and completed in 975/1567.
However, the actual line of calligraphers did not continue through the son but through another student and relative of Shams al-Dīn Muḥammad Khaṭṭāṭ. This man was knowns as ʿAlī Beg Tabrīzī, a maternal grandson of his teacher and like his grandfather and several other preceding masters of the pen in Tabriz he maintained intimate ties to eminent local Sufis.
It is with none other than ʿAlī Beg that Ibn Karbalāʾī studied writing a little thereby linking himself to this great chain of calligraphers of Tabriz. The author of the local pilgrimage guide informs us that ʿAlī Beg died in 957/1550 and that he was buried in the tomb complex of his paternal grandfather. Unlike Shams al-Dīn Muḥammad Khaṭṭāṭ, this grandfather of ʿAlī Beg had no reputation for calligraphy and was more exclusively concerned with religious matters like Sufism. But the great chain of local calligraphers also went on through ʿAlī Beg Tabrīzī who did not only teach Ibn Karbalāʾī. A far more famous student of ʿAlī Beg was his maternal nephew ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn Muḥammad known as ʿAlāʾ Beg Tabrīzī who is introduced by Ibn Karbalāʾī as the leader of calligraphers of his time.
Allauddin Muhammed alias Ali Beg Tabrizi was a Master calligrapher and many mosques and buildings in Tabriz carry inscriptions written by him. But actual calligraphic pieces on paper or in book form are rare indeed. We present a book from our archives written by him, and it shows his mastery over his subject. It is reputed that people met the calligrapher during a visit to the city in 988/1580–81 when ʿAlāʾ Beg had probably already reached an advanced age.