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Pen box with grisaille birds and flowers

Fathullah Shirazi,

Creation date: 1840-1841
Creation place: Iran

Other Information

Medium and Support: Papier-maché; painted and lacquered
Credit Line: Museum Acquisitions Fund
Accession Number: 2014.17.a-b
Dimensions: 1 3/8 x 8 3/16 x 1 13/32 in. (3.49 x 20.8 x 3.57 cm)
Currently on view

Label Copy

04/17/17 Diana Chou
Fathullah Shirazi
Pen box with grisaille birds and flowers

Iran, 1840–41
Papier-maché, painted and lacquered
Museum Acquisitions Fund, 2014.17.a-b

Gallery 11 Text June 2014

Lacquered Objects from Iran
Painting in Iran could take the form of images in books and on tiles, canvas or objects. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it became particularly popular for artists to paint on papier-mâché pen and mirror cases. These objects were covered with a layer of resin varnish which has darkened over time, giving the painted surface a deep and lustrous finish.
Many leading artists tried their hand at this form, and several of the objects on view have been signed by or can be attributed to important figures at the Qajar and Zand courts of Iran. The group of objects here also represents the range of imagery with which these artists experimented—marbling, shaded drawings, the rose-and-nightingale theme, figural scenes like those in illustrated manuscripts, and works in a Europeanizing style.
Last Updated: 4/17/2017


This object was included in the following exhibitions:

Persian Art , 6/16/2014 - 12/14/2014

Persian Art , 12/20/2014 - 00/00/00

Arts of Iran The San Diego Museum of Art , 1/20/2017 - 00/00/00

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