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  • Date :
  • 6/28/2009

Kamal-ol-Molk"s Style

the mirror hall

Kamal-ol-Molk founded a new style in Iranian art. Iranian painting before him and even in the early years of his life was quite different. In the Qajar era, and before taht period the Iranian painting was limited to miniature.

It should be noted that by referring to Kamal-ol-Molk"s style as an innovative style, it is not intended to devalue painting in the past; rather it is meant to say that Kamal-ol-Molk in fact expanded the art of painting in Iran and opened new horizons to the painters succeeding him.

 It goes without saying that Iranian miniature is among the most valuable styles of painting in the world.

Kamal-ol-Molk"s Famous Works

As was said before, Kamal-ol-Molk received his education in Dar-ol-Fonoon. His love of painting helped him create some works during his school days. He also did some painting in the Shams-ol-Emareh edifice by the order of Nasereddin Shah. During his stay in Europe he never spent an idle hour. In his visit to Iraq and during the years he taught in the art school he created numerous paintings. Unfortunately most of these paintings have either been destroyed or are in private collections and impossible to lay hands on. What will come here are his works include those kept in the former National Consultative Assembly, Golestan Palace, museums, and other centers.

It should be noted that, although he did some color paint works, his oil paintings are of a higher quality and consequently better known. He also did some sculpture, but his works in sculpture are overshadowed by his paintings.

twin waterfalls
Among the paintings signed ‘Naghghash Bashi’ (The Painter) are ‘Twin Waterfalls’ painted in 1882 ‘Golestan Palace’ (1883); ‘Imameh Village’ (1884); ‘Bagh-e-Shah’ (1886); ‘Zanoosi Valley’ (1886); and ‘Government Camp’ (1889), the oldest painting signed Naghghash Bashi.

 ‘Golsmith’, ‘Two Beggar Girls’ and ‘Fortune Teller’ all painted in 1889 are among his valuable works.

‘Hanging Partridge’ and the copies he made of European artists are among his most well-known works. But his masterpiece is ‘The Mirror Hall’.

The Mirror Hall

The first painting he did after he received the title ‘Kamal-olMolk’ was his magnificent masterpiece ‘The Mirror Hall’. This is the first painting bearing the signature ‘Kamal-ol-Molk’. ‘

The Mirror Hall’ was in fact more of a turning-point in Iran"s art than a mere painting; a window to a new world rather than paint on canvas.

This exquisite painting is indicative of Kamal-ol-Molk"s talent and creativity. In this work, the artist marvelously depicts all the delicacy and details of the vast ‘Mirror Hall’ of Golestan Palace. In this lively spirited painting, Nasereddin Shah is portrayed sitting in the middle of ‘The Mirror Hall’. The reflection of light and the shadow of the objects in the Hall in hundreds of pieces of mirror as well as the reflections of mirrors in one another are so delicately pictured that the beholder can do nothing but stand and wonder. 

one of kamal-ol-molks outstanding art work


Other links:

Parviz Tanavoli, (an Iranian sculptor, painter, art historian and collector)

Sohrab Sepehri

Master Ali Asghar Tajvidi

Freydoon Rassouli

Aliakbar Sanati

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