Basil William Robinson. Anthology curated by Gianni Guadalupi with texts by Sir Robert Ker Porter, James Justinian Morier, Joseph Arthur comte de Gabienau
1982 / 232 PAGES
The luxury and elegance of 19th-century Persia in the writings of European ambassadors and travellers, and the portraits that the shahs of the Qajar dynasty commissioned from court painters.
The Persia over which the second ruler of the Qajar dynasty reigned from 1797 to 1834, Fath Alì Shah, famous for his beautiful face, illuminated by languid black eyes and framed by a thick Assyrian beard, was the focus for a host of court painters. They multiplied his effigy and those of his children, ministers, and female dancers in dozens and dozens of paintings. Lost for decades in dusty bazaars and intelligent private collections, those dynasts and courtesans are gathered around their shah once again, recreating, in the magic of images and texts, the elegance and luxury of 19th-century Iran, a land of roses and severed heads.