V&A Style in Islamic Art Quiz

Portraiture

In the first Qajar portraits, of the 1790s onwards, the artist showed the sitter simply as a flattened form but depicted the costume, jewellery and weapons with great care. Yet these portraits, like that of Fath ‘Ali Shah, can be imposing as well as decorative. Later, from the 1830s, European techniques for modelling figures and perspective were introduced. These can be see in the watercolour portrait of ‘Ali, whom the Iranians believe was the rightful successor to the Prophet Muhammad.

Portrait of Fath ‘Ali Shah Qajar
Iran, Tehran
1797-1834
Museum No. 707-1876

Portrait of Fath ‘Ali Shah Qajar