In his most sought after series, Memories of Destruction, of which this work is a very fine example, Aydeen Aghdashloo uses icons of Italian Renaissance and Persian classical painting. Indeed, early in his career, he developed a thorough interest in European history of art, focusing mainly on the works of Sandro Botticelli.
The portrait depicts a figure dressed in the Renaissance bourgeois style wearing a medal, reminiscent of Botticelli's masterpiece Portrait of a Man wearing a Medal, exhibited in the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence. Despite the charming and elegant allure of the figure, Aghdashloo has subverted the classical icon by destroying it and partially defacing it. The figure has in fact turned into a wooden silhouette of a faceless body, evidently lacking any sense of identity and orientation. The beautiful sophistication of the Renaissance painting is thus undermined by the artist's sarcastic attempt to ruin it, aiming to express his bitter feelings towards the cultural decline and the dissolution of values.
The background of the painting is a cold winter with leafless trees, perhaps referring to the hopeless future of the society, both culturally and politically. This series was started before the Islamic Revolution but the artist has continued it in the past few years as the political and social state before 1979 resembles the current turmoil.