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Zand &
Qajar Periods; Part 1

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Qajar Periods; Part 3

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Fath Ali Shah was particularly receptive to ancient Iranian influences, and numerous rock reliefs were carved in neo-Sassanian style, depicting the Qajar sovereign in the guise of Khosroe.

The best known reliefs are at Chashma-i-Ali, at Taq-i-Bustan, and in the vicinity of the Koran Gate in Shiraz.

Neo-Sassanian relief on a mountain side at Rayy

Neo-Sassanian relief on a mountain side at Rayy, near Tehran, depicting Fath Ali Shah killing a lion. First half of 19th century.

Under Fath Ali Shah there was a clear return to tradition; however, at the same time late 18th century European court style appeared in the palaces in Tehran. European influences also mingle with Sassanian and neo-Achaemenid themes in the carved figural stucco of this period (as can be seen in many houses in Kashan).

Fath Ali Shah also used large-scale frescoes and canvasses to create an imperial personal image. Portraits of princes and historical scenes were used to adorn his new palaces and they were often shaped like an arch in order to fit into a space in the same shape on a wall. Fath Ali Shah also distributed several paintings to foreign powers such as Russia, Britain, France and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Portrait of Fath Ali Shah

Qajar prince and his attendant

Portrait of Fath 'Ali Shah seated, by Mihr 'Ali c. 1813-14 from The State Hermitage Museum Saint Petersburg.

Qajar prince and his attendant. Qatar, Tehran c. 1820. Designed to fit into arches in the divan or public room of a house or palace.

The interaction of popular style and European influence is even more evident in painting, with Flemish and Florentine elements appearing in the painting of the dancer "Mazda" by Madhi Shirazi (1819-20).

With the introduction of printing and large scale painting some of the finest Qajar miniature artists turned their hand to lacquer work such as book bindings, caskets, and pen boxes (qalamdan). The style is in particular cosmopolitan and characteristic of a court that attempted to combine the styles of Persepolis, Isfahan and Versailles.

Casket with image of Fath Ali Shah

Casket with image of Fath Ali Shah hunting with a prince and courtiers. Early 19th century, artist unknown.


Persian Art Through The Centuries

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Persian Art
Through The Centuries

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Persian History
The Qajar Dynasty

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