Tempera on paper painting of a Persian dignitary


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This painting depicts a man who was of high social standing within the Persian court in the late 19th Century. The man is depicted from the chest upwards, in a half-length format. He turns his body slightly to the right and gazes off into the distance. The man sits on an orange chair, which is intricately decorated with white and green floral patterns. The sitter is bearded and dressed in a fine light pink robe, ornamented with orange flowers. Over this, he wears a black and gold brocade short-sleeved jacket, lined with red fur. A pearl and emerald necklace hangs around his neck and he wears two rings on his right hand, studded with precious stones. In this hand, he holds the end of a finely ornamented staff, or hilt of a sword. The man is dressed in a yellow turban, which is topped by an orange brocade cap. On the front of the turban, there is a pearl and emerald broach, with a black and white feather plume. The sitter is placed against a vivid blue background.

In the style of Persian manuscript illuminations, the portrait is placed within a decorative frame, composed of yellow scrolling vines and red flowers. These are interspersed with cartouches, containing Farsi inscriptions.

The portrait was created using tempera, which is a dry pigment mixed with an emulsion (usually egg) and thinned with water. This has been carefully applied to paper, to create this wonderfully detailed painting.

Paper: Height 70cm, width 53cm
Frame: Height 73cm, width 56cm, depth 2cm


Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Late 19th Century
Late 19th Century
Figurative Art, Islamic, Persian interest, Portrait
Giltwood, Paper, Tempera, Wood
Blue, Gold, Multi-coloured, Yellow


73 cm / 28.7 inches
56 cm / 22 inches
2 cm / 0.8 inches


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