Hossein Behzad was the great innovator of Iranian art in the middle of the twentieth century. His early work was in the styles of the old masters of Persian painting of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, such as Kamal al-din Behzad and Reza Abbasi. In 1934 he left Tehran for Paris and stayed for thirteen months, during which time he studied various Eastern and Western painting styles at the Louvre, Guimet museum and Versailles. During this trip developed a completely new style of miniature painting, which fused aspects of traditional Persian painting with contemporary trends from the West. Through this new style he hoped to save miniature painting from oblivion.
To celebrate the millennium of Avicenna, in 1953 he held an exhibition at the Iran Bastan Museum. This caused a sensation and was seen by many international visitors. Soon after, and to much critical acclaim, he held an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris (sponsored by the French government) and several exhibitions in the Library of Congress in the United States.