• Qajar Portrait


One of the paintings on display in the exhibition is especially fascinating. It is an oil painting on canvas featuring a female musician playing the târ.

The Târ

The târ is a string instrument with a particularly long fingerboard that is still played today in  Iran, Afghanistan and Armenia.

Tar, the long necked musical Instrument

Qajar Portraits

During the Qajar era, portraits were often hung on the walls of the palatial residences. They depicted kings and women of the court, such as servants, musicians, acrobats or dancers.

Monobrow of woman in portrait

This painting illustrates the essence of Qajar beauty during the 19th century, and how women were portrayed during that period, especially with the elongated shapes and the proportions of the woman’s body, the thick and marked eyebrows, the almond eyes and the aquiline nose, as well as the hands and feet tinted with henna. The rich decorations on the fabrics with the other detailed elements in this painting provide a stylised representation of luxury and refinement at the Qajar court.