A portrait of Muhammad Shah Qajar (reg. 1834-48) seated against a bolster holding a document Persia, dated AH 1265/AD 1848

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Lot 60
A portrait of Muhammad Shah Qajar (reg. 1834-48) seated against a bolster holding a document
Persia, dated AH 1265/AD 1848

Sold for £ 2,160 (US$ 2,881) inc. premium
A portrait of Muhammad Shah Qajar (reg. 1834-48) seated against a bolster holding a document
Persia, dated AH 1265/AD 1848
pencil, watercolour and collage on paper, inscribed raqam-e abu'l-hasan naqqash-bashi sana 1265 ('Drawn by Abu'l-Hasan, the Chief painter, year 1265 [AD 1848-9]') upper left, inscribed shahanshah-e anbiya muhammad ('The King of Kings of [all] prophets, Muhammad') within the sun motif upper centre, printed border laid down, framed
232 x 150 mm.

Footnotes

  • Abu'l-Hasan Ghaffari, later titled Sani' al-Mulk, is the most famous painter of the reigns of Muhammad Shah and Nasir al-Din Shah. He worked in both oil and watercolour. He was among those students who were sent to Europe and was in Italy between 1846 and 1850. His recorded works are dated between 1258 (AD 1842-3) and 1273 (AD 1856-7). The most famous of all his works are the paintings of the One Thousand and One Nights at the Gulistan Palace Library in Tehran.

    The date on the present lot is the year of Muhammad Shah's death, when Abu'l-Hasan was in Italy. Karimzadeh records a painting of Muhammad Shah dated AH 1263/AD 1846-7 (sold at Sotheby's 9 July 1979) which contains the title naqqash-bashi; and another work dated AH 1261/1845-46 also bearing this title. It is not quite clear when he received this title but its inclusion in three recorded works between 1845 and 1849 (including the present work) implies that Muhammad Shah must have awarded it to him and not, as is sometimes suggested, Nasir ad-Din Shah. See M. A. Karimzadeh Tabrizi, The Lives and Art of Old Painters of Iran, vol. I, London 1985, pp. 23-34; Robinson and Stanley, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art: Lacquer of the Islamic Lands, Part 2, Oxford 1996, p. 154.
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