Miniature pasted on cardboard. “Karim Khan Zand with the Ottoman Ambassador Vehbi Effendi”. Attributed to Abu’l Hasan Mustawfi
Leaf: 23.8 × 17.5 cm
The founder of the Zand dynasty, Karim Khan (1751-1779), is portrayed as a powerful ruler, while the Ottoman ambassador who visited Shiraz in 1775 is suitably obsequious. The bearded ruler, who never adopted the title of king, is seated with a bouquet of flowers and his cup of wine, wearing a fur-trimmed caftan of Persian brocade and the kind of hat that was used under both the Afsharids and the Zand dynasty.
The painting was later attributed correctly to Abu’l Hasan Mustawfi, an artist who had also served for many years as a provincial governor and was moreover a respected historian. The dating 1161 H (1749-1750), however, is incorrect. Abu’l Hasan’s first known painting was actually from 1775, the year of the ambassador’s visit.
Inv. no. 21/1999
Kjeld von Folsach: Art from the World of Islam in The David Collection, Copenhagen 2001, cat.no. 50;
Kjeld von Folsach: For the Privileged Few: Islamic Miniature Painting from The David Collection, Louisiana, Humlebæk 2007, cat.no. 121;
Kjeld von Folsach: Flora islamica: plantemotiver i islamisk kunst, Davids Samling, København 2013, cat.no. 60;
Kjeld von Folsach, Joachim Meyer: The Human Figure in Islamic Art – Holy Men, Princes, and Commoners, The David Collection, Copenhagen 2017, cat.no. 39;
Kjeld von Folsach, Joachim Meyer and Peter Wandel: Fighting, Hunting, Impressing. Arms and Armour from the Islamic World 1500-1850, The David Collection, Copenhagen 2021, fig. 29, p. 84;