Poem in Shikasta script Maker: Unknown

18th century

Asian Art

Visual harmony was prized in Persian calligraphy, and artists were free to adjust the spacing between letters or stack words on top of one another to create a cohesive design across the page. This poem is written in a specific calligraphic script known as shikasta, which favors beauty over legibility and was especially popular for Persian texts. Reading this script allowed one to demonstrate his learning in a social setting—though this ability was facilitated by memorization of the inscribed poem in advance and understanding of the poetic meter.


Ink, color, and gold on paper


image: 10 1/2 × 6 7/8 in. (26.6 × 17.5 cm)

Credit Line

Hobart and Edward Small Moore Memorial Collection, Gift of Mrs. William H. Moore

Accession Number



Qajar dynasty (1789–1925)


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Asia Institute, New York; Mrs. William H. Moore (Ada Small Moore) (1858–1955) New York; gift in 1951 to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.
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