Artist to bring Ashura tragedy to life in teahouse painting

August 21, 2020 - 19:7

TEHRAN – Artist Mohammadreza Mohammad-Hossein plans to recreate the tragedy of Ashura in a huge teahouse painting.

The painting titled “That My Peace of Soul Is Going” will be done before the people in the courtyard of Tehran’s Resaneh (Media) Cultural Center over two months.

The art project will commence at 7 pm on Saturday, the first day of the lunar month of Muharram, and will be completed on October 8, which is the last day of the month of Safar.

Shia Muslims commemorate the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS) and his companions with rituals that begin every year from the first day of Muharram.

The rituals reach their climax on Ashura, the 10th day of Muharram, the day upon which Imam Hussein (AS) and his companions were martyred in Karbala as a result of their valiant stand against the injustices of the oppressive Umayyad dynasty in 680 CE.

The artwork will be auctioned to raise funds for an offering, which will be presented during Arbaeen next year.

Arbaeen marks the end of the 40-day mourning period following the martyrdom of the Imam and his loyal companions on Ashura.

Mohammad-Hossein is one the pupils of Abbas Bolukifar, a pioneer of the Iranian teahouse painting. He has portrayed stories about Ashura in over 20 huge teahouse paintings, which are on display at various religious centers across Tehran.

The teahouse has had various functions in different eras during its 400-year history in Iran. Teahouses used to be places where people gathered to spend their leisure time listening to a naqqal, an Iranian traditional storyteller, narrating stories from Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh. People talked and exchanged views, and along with lutis, wise and generous people, helped poor people.

Teahouse painters emerged in such an atmosphere. They listened to the discussions and tales, using them as subjects for the paintings they drew on the walls, tiles, stones and canvases. Sometimes, teahouse owners commissioned the painters to draw the stories.

With their own unique perspective not used in other styles, teahouse painters drew motifs entirely based on their imagination. The themes of such paintings are epics, traditions and religion.

Photo: A poster for the art project “That My Peace of Soul Is Going”.


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