A small Qajar lacquer painting depicting the Emperor Napoleon with his marshals, signed by Zain al-Abidin  Persia, 19th Century - to be dated more precisely
Lot 277*
A small Qajar lacquer painting depicting a British officer surrendering to the Emperor Napoleon and his marshals, signed by Zain al-Abidin Persia, second half of the 19th Century
£2,000 - 3,000
US$ 3,400 - 5,000
Auction Details
Lot Details
A small Qajar lacquer painting depicting a British officer surrendering to the Emperor Napoleon and his marshals, signed by Zain al-Abidin
Persia, second half of the 19th Century
lacquer on board, signed in nasta'liq script, framed
63 x 93 mm.

Footnotes

  • Provenance: The Property of a Lady; acquired Sotheby's, Fine Oriental Miniatures, Manuscripts and Persian Lacquer, London, 23rd November 1976.

    It has been suggested that the painting is a copy of a French print. See N. D. Khalili, B. W. Robinson & T. Stanley, Lacquer of the Islamic Lands, Part Two, Oxford 1997, pp. 120-121, no. 324, for a set of playing cards of this date, some of which depict European soldiers in uniforms of the Napoleonic period.

    The artist of this painting may be identified with a certain Zayn al-'Abidin Afshar, who is only known by his two recorded works: a book cover in the Majlis Library, Tehran, depicting a Shaykh with a student, and a watercolour painting depicting the Qa'ba, in the Gulistan Palace Library, Tehran. Both are dated AH 1235/AD 1819-20. Karimzadeh comments that the style of painting seen in the Majlis Library piece indicates that the artist must have been a student of Muhammad Zaman II. (see M. A. Karimzadeh-Tabrizi, The Lives and Art of Old Painters of Iran, vol. 1, London 1985, pp. 214-15). However, a comparison between the present painting and the works of Muahmmad Zaman II (M. A. Karimzadeh-Tabrizi, The Lives and Art of Old Painters of Iran, vol. 2, London 1990, pp. 814-16, figs. on pp. 997-8), does not reveal any real similarities.

    Another painter, Zayn al-'Abidin Isfahani, was a painter of 'flowers and birds' and his recorded works are dated between AH 1270/AD 1853-54 and AH 1289/AD 1872-73. (See N. D. Khalili, B. W. Robinson, T. Stanley, Lacquer of the Islamic Lands, Part Two, Oxford 1997, nos. 292, 293 & 297). No. 297 has small landscape scenes, but the style is very different.
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  1. Oliver White
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