Arts of the Book: Illustrated Texts, Miniatures
Double Album Page: Portrait Of Fath' Ali Shah And Calligraphic Exercise
Qajar, 19th century CE
Materials and technique
Opaque watercolour and gold on paper
33.3 x 20.5 cm
This double-page opening features a portrait of the Qajar ruler Fath ‛Ali Shah (r. 1798-1834 CE) and a calligraphic exercise signed by him. Even in miniature, this portrait of Fath ‛Ali Shah with his full beard and formal regalia manages to convey the same monumentality and power as life-size imperial enthronement scenes of the ruler (for comparison, see the Hermitage portrait, vr-1107; Diba 1998, p. 183). Perhaps the present double-page once belonged to an album like the early nineteenth-century one with calligraphies and portraits of rulers, including one of Fath ‛Ali Shah on the Sun Throne.
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