Miniature pasted on an album leaf. “Portrait of Fath Ali Shah Qajar”
Iran; 1226 H = 1811
Miniature: 33.7 × 22.8 cm
With this imposing portrait of Fath Ali Shah (1797-1834), we come to the beginning of the Qajar period. The shah is seen with his long beard in full regal splendor, with crown, scepter, jewels, and bejeweled weapons. He is placed in the foreground of a spatially well-defined landscape that reflects European influence and contrasts with the flat, conservative depiction of the shah himself.
The artist was a certain Ahmad, presumably a pupil of Mihr Ali, whose monumental oil paintings are reflected in the composition of this miniature. European influence was growing, but Iran still dominated.
Inv. no. 30/2003
Sotheby’s, London, 30/4-2003, lot 37;
Kjeld von Folsach: For the Privileged Few: Islamic Miniature Painting from The David Collection, Louisiana, Humlebæk 2007, cat.no. 123;
Kjeld von Folsach, Joachim Meyer: The Human Figure in Islamic Art – Holy Men, Princes, and Commoners, The David Collection, Copenhagen 2017, cat.no. 37;
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, cat.no. 109;