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KARIM KHAN ZAND WITH HIS HORSE AND GROOM
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KARIM KHAN ZAND WITH HIS HORSE AND GROOM

BY ABU'L HASAN GHAFARI, IRAN, AH RABI' II 1209/OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 1794 AD

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KARIM KHAN ZAND WITH HIS HORSE AND GROOM
BY ABU'L HASAN GHAFARI, IRAN, AH RABI' II 1209/OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 1794 AD
Gouache heightened with gold on paper, Karim Khan Zand wearing a turban and jewelled aigrette, in the maidan of Isfahan in front of the Chehel Sutun, a young groom washing the tail of a grey horse, inscribed below in the hand of Abu'l Hasan Ghafari and dated Rabi' II 1209, contemporary mount, slight flaking, framed and glazed
Miniature 8 x 11¼in. (20.3 x 29cm.)
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Lot Essay

The main inscription reads:

shabih-e 'alahazrat shahanshah-e giti setan va khaqan zill allah 'illiyyin ashyan abu'l nasr karim khan-e zand raqam-e bandeh-ye dargah khalayeq omid dargah abu'l hasan al-ghafari al-mustawfi fi sharh rabi' al-thani sana 1209

The portrait of His Majesty, the King of Kings, the one who captures the World, and the Emperor who is the shadow of God, the one whose abode is the uppermost heaven, Abu'l Nasr Karim Khan Zand. Drawn by the servant of the court, where people's hope is, Abu'l Hasan Ghafari al-Mustawfi in the month of Rabi' II 1209.

As the inscription suggests, this drawing was made after the death of Karim Khan, which occurred in 1193/1779.

The smaller inscription by the horse's tail reads:

'abbas jelodar-e sarkar-e khasseh-ye sharifeh

'Abbas, the groom of the King's illustrious noble court. Jelodar means the one who runs by the side of the rider holding on to the bridle.
Abu'l Hasan Ghafari Mustawfi Kashani was the first in a long line of a family of painters which lasted up to the late 19th and early 20th centuries with Sani' al-Mulk and Kamal a-Mulk. His extant work is dated 1781-94 and consists almost exclusively of historical personalities and portraits of his contemporaries. He was chiefly known as a Zand historian, but trained as a painter for two years before his distinguished family objected to his profession and he entered the service of Karim Khan Zand as court secretary.
A painting attributed to this artist of Shah 'Abbas II receiving a Mughal Ambassador is in the collection of the Late Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan.
Diba, L.S.: Royal Persian Paintings, The Qajar Epoch, 1785-1925, New York, 1998, pp.147-9, no.23.
Another portrait of Karim Khan Zand by the artist in a private collection, Diba, op.cit, fig.VII, p.151.
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