Exhibition of Royal Portraits from Qajar Period

“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. The exhibition includes several major and otherwise unknown works, which the Freer|Sackler has recently acquired through gift and purchase: a monumental painting of Ahmad Shah Qajar and his cabinet from 1914, the portrait of Prince Jalal al-Din Mirza dated 1859 and attributed to the renowned Qajar artist Abu’l-Hasan Ghaffari, and a selection of finely painted lacquer works.