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Abu῾l-Qasim

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The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture What is This? Provides in-depth historical and cultural information on over a thousand years of Islamic art and architecture

Abu῾l-Qasim

(fl. c.1816).

Persian painter. His only known work is a long composition depicting Fath ῾Ali Shah Qajar (r. 1797–1834) entertained by female musicians and dancers. The only surviving fragments of it are a painting of the shah (London, B. W. Robinson priv. col.) and three paintings of the entertainers (Tehran, Nigaristan Mus., ex-Amery priv. col.). The paintings of a woman playing a drum and of a woman playing a stringed instrument are signed raqam-i kamtarīn abū῾l-qāsim (“painted by the most humble Abu῾l-Qasim”) and dated 1816, but the third painting showing a woman dancing is half-length and damaged. All the fragments share the same continuous architectural background and scale (a little less than life-size). Robinson suggested that this mural might be the one described in the mid-19th century by the traveler Robert Binning, who reported that the house he occupied in Shiraz contained a painting of Fath ῾Ali Shah seated in state attended by ten women. The composition extended around three sides of the room and the figures were almost life-size. This identification suggests that Abu῾l-Qasim might have been a native of Shiraz.

Bibliography

  • B. W. Robinson: “The Court Painters of Fath ῾Alī Shāh,” Eretz-Israel, vii (1964), pp. 94–105
  • S. J. Falk: Qajar Paintings: Persian Oil Paintings of the 18th and 19th Centuries (London, 1972)
  • B. W. Robinson: “The Amery Collection of Persian Oil Paintings,” Stud. Iran., i (1972), pp. 43–53
  • B. W. Robinson: “Persian Painting in the Qajar Period,” Highlights of Persian Art, ed. R. Ettinghausen and E. Yarshater (Boulder, 1979), pp. 331–62
  • M. A. Karimzada Tabrizi: Ahvāl u āthār-i naqqāshān-i qadīm-i īrān [The lives and art of old painters of Iran] (London, 1985), no. 66
  • B. W. Robinson: “Persian Painting under the Zand and Qājār Dynasties,” From Nadir Shah to the Islamic Republic (1991), vii of The Cambridge History of Iran (Cambridge, 1968–91), pp. 870–90
  • Royal Persian Paintings: The Qajar Epoch 1785–1925 (exh. cat. ed. by L. S. Diba with M. Ekhtiar; New York, Brooklyn Mus.; Los Angeles, CA, Armand Hammer Mus. A.; London, U. London, SOAS, Brunei Gal.; 1998–9)
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