‘Beautifully presented, this new book expands the current scholarship on Qajar art in many valuable directions.’
– Moya Carey, Curator of Islamic Collections,
Chester Beatty Library, Dublin
The articles in this volume are focused on the art of Iran in the nineteenth century while it was under Qajar rule. The articles in the first section are dedicated to the arts of painting, illumination and lithography. The second section is also concerned with works on paper but looks at newly introduced techniques such as fingernail art and photography. The third section looks at different materials: tiles decorated with mounted falconers, ikat velvet textiles, carpets as diplomatic gifts and a type of armour known as chahar ‘ayna. The two final articles focus on artefacts acquired through diplomatic and commercial exchanges.
Melanie Gibson is Senior Editor of the Gingko Library Arts Series. Her publications focus on sculpture, ceramics and glass produced around the Islamic world. Gwenaëlle Fellinger is Senior Curator in the Department of Islamic Art in the Louvre Museum where she is in charge of Qajar Art. Contributors: Ali Boozari, Filiz Çakir Phillip, Layla S. Diba, Maryam Ekhtiar, Gwenaëlle Fellinger, Christiane Gruber, Carol Guillaume, Hadi Maktabi, Charlotte Maury, Simon Rettig, Tim Stanley, Iván Szántó, Daria Vasilyeva, Friederike Voigt.
Watch Gwenaëlle Fellinger’s presentation, organised by Gingko and Iran Society.
Foreword by Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali
Prologue by Marie Lavandier and Yannick Lintz
Introduction by Gwenaëlle Fellinger
Part 1: Transitions and Transmissions
Charlotte Maury and Carol Guillaume: First Overview of Golestan 1644: Album Making, Connoisseurship, and the Painter Muhammad Baqir
Simon Rettig: Illustrating Firdawsi’s Book of Kings in the Early Qajar Era: The Case of the Ezzat-Malek Soudavar Shahnama
Tim Stanley: Razi Taliqani and the ‘Lustre of the Nation’, 1880s to 1900s
Ali Boozari: Mirza Hasan Ibn Aqa Sayyid Mirza Isfahani: A Bridge Between Elite and Popular Art in the Qajar Period
Part 2: The Image Revealed
Maryam Ekhtiar: Ahl al-Bayt Imagery Revisited: A Drawing by Ismaʿil Jalayir at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Christiane Gruber: Without Pen, Without Ink: Fingernail Art in the Qajar Period
Layla S. Diba: Towards an Alternative Art History: Qajar Photography and Contemporary Iranian Art
Part 3: In the Material World
Gwenaëlle Fellinger: Shimmering Mirages—Nineteenth-Century Ikat Velvets
Hadi Maktabi: Carpets as Diplomatic Gifts and Feudal Tribute under the Qajars
Friederike Voigt: Equestrian Tiles and the Rediscovery of Underglaze Painting in Qajar Iran
Filiz Çakir Phillip: Chahar ʿAyna: Form, Function, and Decoration of an Enigmatic Iranian Armour
Part 4: Collecting Histories
Daria Vasilyeva: On Iranian Diplomatic Gifts and Trophies of the 1820s in The State Hermitage Museum: Archival Documents and Historical Context
Iván Szántó: Pearls of Qajar Painting Strung at Random in Eastern Europe
Layla S. Diba: Epilogue, Looking Anew: Qajar Art in the Twenty-first Century
‘Beautifully presented, this new book expands the current scholarship on Qajar art in many valuable directions, and consolidates the landmark achievement of the 2018 Louvre-Lens exhibition, L’Empire des roses. Chefs-d’oeuvre de l’art persan du XIXe siècle. Addressing a range of art media from manuscript paintings to carpets, the essays demonstrate how the artists of Qajar Iran both responded to the dynamic promise of new technologies and engaged with a long cultural memory, overwriting a complex nuanced past to serve a modern political present.’
–Moya Carey, Curator of Islamic Collections, Chester Beatty Library, Dublin.
‘The place of Qajar Iran and its rich artistic production is key to the understanding of Iranian civilization and this collection of articles is an important contribution to the study of this period when the country confronted modernity while jealously guarding its independence, its poetic soul and its harmony with nature. These detailed studies take a new approach to Qajar art, whose unique and sometimes surprising aesthetic was such an inspiration to contemporary artists. This book will be an essential working tool for specialists and a valuable guide for students and those interested in 19th-century Iran.’
–Francis Richard, former Director of the Islamic Art Department, Musée du Louvre, Paris.
‘This is a magnificent book—for people interested in art (and knowing little about Qajar art like this reviewer) it fills a significant gap, and the essays are without exception illuminating and accessibly-written […] an eye-opener.’
–Asian Review of Books, John Butler
Full review here.