Replica of Qajar-era portraiture on clay plate recreated

January 27, 2021 - 22:16

TEHRAN – An Iranian artist has recently recreated a replica of a Qajar-era (1789–1925) portraiture on clay plate following extensive research.  

“The replica of the Qajar plate was made by [the Iranian artist] Rana Bahramifar on an earthen plate, which is 30 cm in diameter, with the method of underglaze and watercolor,” ILNA quoted Seyyed Abdolmajid Sharifzadeh, who presides over the traditional arts group of the institute, as saying on Tuesday.

“Such [Qajar-era] pictorial plates were originally made in Tehran with turning the focus on historical and royal motifs, battlefield themes, and everyday scenes,” Sharifzadeh explained.

The original plate is being kept at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, he added.

“[The art of] mono-painting reached its peak in the Qajar epoch and human characteristics changed under various factors. The art of painting and painting influenced by European art, tended towards naturalization and distancing itself from abstract forms and created an atmosphere with a perspective of various plant and human motifs,” he explained.

Sharifzadeh said that one of the features of the [art] designs of this period was the emphasis on European features such as shading and iconography and specified. “An in that era the use of various new colors such as red, orange and pink became common. Furthermore, these designs showed a kind of identity interaction with society.”

After the turmoil and strife of the eighteenth century in Persia (Iran), the rise to power of the Qajar dynasty signaled a new peace and unity for the country. The Qajar shahs relied heavily on the visual arts to confirm and solidify their new position. One aspect of their public image tied them to the long history of Persia and its ancient dynasties, but another component of their identity was as modernizers and reformers.

This involved both changes to the government and the acceptance of new technologies such as the railroad and the telegraph. In the arts, this meant support of the new techniques of lithography and photography, as well as innovative applications of existing forms in Iran such as portraiture and oil painting.

While oil painting had already been introduced to Persia and was used by both the Zand and Afsharid dynasties for state portraits, the early Qajars took this medium to new heights. The paintings formed an integral part of palace architecture, and one must imagine viewing them after traveling through a carefully mediated series of courtyards, gardens, and gateways. The Qajars also used these images to promote their international image. Official portraits were sent to England, Russia, France, and other countries with whom the Qajars hoped to foster diplomatic ties, and were copied in other media such as lacquer and enamel.


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