Arts & Culture

Smithsonian’s Freer Sackler displays 19th Century Iranian Royalty Portraits

Royal Portraits From 19th-Century Iran Will Go
on View at the Smithsonian’s Freer|Sackler

After-hours Special Preview of “The Prince and the Shah: Royal
Portraits from Qajar Iran” Feb. 23

Kings and noblemen of Iran’s Qajar dynasty (1779-1925) commissioned self-portraits to convey their power and splendor. Such imagery proliferated as monumental oil paintings, photographs or as intimately scaled lacquer objects and uniquely combined traditional Persian artistic conventions with European modes of representation. “The Prince and the Shah: Royal Portraits from Qajar Iran” offers a rare glimpse into the development and dissemination of royal and aristocratic portraiture in the 19th century and early 20th century in Iran at a time when the country underwent major political, societal and cultural changes. On view at the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Feb. 24-Aug. 5, the exhibition highlights about 30 paintings, photographs and lacquer works from the collections.