Sha'fi Abbasi was the son of Reza Abbasi, the founder of the Isfahan school of painting of the early 17th century. He was employed in the service of Shah Abbas II, hence his apellation (his father was named Abbasi in honour of the first Shah of that name). He specialised in the sort of paintings of birds with flowers that were to become so popular in the following century. Many of his paintings bear dedications to his royal patron. It has been suggested that his beautiful nasta'liq inscriptions were the result of proximity to Mir 'Imad al-Hasani, a colleague of his father. For another painting of a finch perched on a sprig of hazlenut dated a year later, 1062 (Soudavar,A: Art of the Persian Courts, New York, 1992, no. 127, p.298).