• Art of the Islamic and Indian  auction at Christies

    Sale 7843

    Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds

    13 April 2010, London, King Street

  • Lot 143

    A BATTLE AND A COURT SCENE

    ATTRIBUTABLE TO MUHAMMAD ISMA'IL OR A CLOSE FOLLOWER, QAJAR IRAN, MID- 19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A BATTLE AND A COURT SCENE
    ATTRIBUTABLE TO MUHAMMAD ISMA'IL OR A CLOSE FOLLOWER, QAJAR IRAN, MID- 19TH CENTURY
    Watercolour heightened with gold on paper, in one miniature a vicious battle ensues between artillerymen, lines of foot soliders and those mounted on horseback and camels, to the left of the composition a walled city and army encampment with numerous brightly coloured tents, the other miniature set in an interior and depicting a court scene with numerous nobles in bright robes and tall hats or turbans all facing a central raised platform, each miniature laid down between gold and polychrome borders on cream margins with blue and gold floral illumination with birds and animals
    Each miniature 3 5/8 x 6 3/8in. (9.1 x 16cm.); folio 8¼ x 12½in. (20.9 x 31.5cm.) (2)


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    Muhammad Isma'il was a painter of the Qajar period whose recorded works are dated between AH 1256/1840-41 AD and AH 1288/1871-72 AD. Until recently he was thought to be the younger brother of Najaf 'Ali, but research, including the discovery of a marriage certificate of Najaf 'Ali, indicate that he was more likely a pupil (Khalili et al, op. cit., p. 46). His style however was certainly influenced by Najaf 'Ali. He was a court painter throughout his career and in 1859 received the title naqqash-bashi ('chief painter'), from Nasir al-Din Shah. He is known for his tendency to depict minute scale battle and court scenes, generally in lacquer. For more information on Muhammad Isma'il see Nasser D. Khalili, B.W.Robinson and Tim Stanley, Lacquer of the Islamic Lands, Vol. II, London, 1997, p. 46 and M.A.Karimzadeh Tabrizi, The Lives Art of Old Painters of Iran, Vol. I, London, 1985, pp. 66-76.

    For two more miniatures from the same series and a short discussion on the group, please see the preceding lot.

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