The verb 'Jxalq' is originally an Arabic-Persian word. The
verb at the same time means "to masturbate" and "to create". According to Qazi
Mir Ahmad Monshi Qomi, a 16th century Iranian art historian, the term was coined
by Mehmed Siyah Qualem, a legendary 15th century Iranian painter and inventor.
Qazi Ahmad Qomi in his book,
writes: And once this painter (Siyah Qualem) told the greatest of the courtier
painters, Master Bihzad "all we artisans do is jxalq."
In the 15th century Gentile Bellini spent 18 months in Istanbul as "cultural
ambassador" and painted his famous painting
The Sultan Mehmet
II (1480). Bihzad and
Bellini have two similar paintings called
Portrait of an
Artist. To answer
why the term exists in some Latin languages, some na´ve historians came to
believe that Bihzad has taught this term to Bellini during collaboration
or a cultural exchange between the Ottoman Empire and Iran. Bazil Gray for
instance believes that after the death of Mehmet, Bellini's
Portrait of an Artist
was sent first to the Aqqoyunlu Palace in Tebriz,
then to the Safavid Palace in Iran. Before it was returned to the Ottoman palace
this extraordinary painting was copied by Bihzad. The piece is now kept in the
Freer Museum in Washington DC.