Apr 18, 2010

A Journey Round My Skull: Persian Handstands

 

Mihr Ali, Fath Ali Shah, Qajar Painting, 1813-14
Mihr Ali, Fath Ali Shah, Qajar Painting, 1813-14
above and below images come from wikimedia


Mihr Ali, Qajar Painting, 1813-14
Mihr Ali, Qajar Painting, 1813-14

Anonymous, from the Shahinshahnameh, 1810 (detail)
Anonymous, from the Shahinshahnameh, 1810
(detail of freaky camels)

Muhammad Hasan Afshar, portrait of Nasir al-Din Shah, with cherubs, 1854-55
Muhammad Hasan Afshar, portrait of Nasir al-Din Shah, with cherubs, 1854-55


Muhammad 'Ali, portrait miniature of Muhammad Shah, c. 1845
Muhammad 'Ali, portrait miniature of Muhammad Shah, c. 1845

Unknown, A girl standing on her hands
Unknown (again the Shirin painter?), A girl standing on her hands

These paintings come mostly from two books: Qajar Paintings (1972) and Qajar Portraits (1999) (the latter going for an obscene $500 on Amazon at the moment).
Read about Qajar art on wikipedia.
From a Sotheby's auction: "Court painting in Qajar Persia gave particular importance to the representation of women. From the mid-seventeenth century onwards, royal artists were attracted by European depictions of female subjects, borrowing certain poses, imagery and stylistic techniques into their own work."
Women were often the focal point of the Shirin Painter, and I can't wait to dig up more of his acrobats. Qajar Paintings contains a group of these, but not in color (hence that last scan).

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