This Persian portrait painting, with lively colours and gilt detailing, depicts Fath-Ali Shah Qajar (Persian, 1772-1834), who was the second Shah (Emperor) of Iran. Fath-Ali was celebrated for the resurgence of Persian painting and arts, especially portraiture, of which he was one of the greatest patrons. Throughout the many portraits painted of him, he also became well-known for his slender 'waspish' waist and his enormously long beard.
This opaque pigment on paper painting is in the style of celebrated artist Mihr 'Ali (Persian, active 1795- post 1830), who is considered to be one of the most important painters of the Qajar period. The portrait depicts Fath-Ali in full length, accentuating his narrow waist and long beard as well as the large crown he wears signifying his importance. He wears highly patterned, intricate court clothing and holds a sceptre in his left hand and the hilt of his belted sword in his right. Fath-Ali is represented against a Persian style courtyard with trees, flowers and an intricately decorated floor. The minute detailing of this painting extends to the extensively patterned, intricate frame surrounding the composition, and the entire portrait is heightened by gilt detailing, adding to the richness and ceremony of the representation.
The painting is inscribed to the upper right with Farsi script, and comes in a simple rectangular giltwood frame.