This intriguing painting represents two midgets and a giant, presumably part of the court circle. The figure of the man with the long red beard standing on the giant's knee is a remarkable portrait.
Abu'l Hasan Ghaffari was the chief royal painter under Nasir al-Din Shah. He was sent to Italy to study painting from 1845-50 and was responsible for the introduction of Western painting styles into later Qajar painting. According to Layla Diba, Abu'l Hasan Ghaffari may be credited with injecting a 'degree of realism and social commentary rarely seen in Persian art'. The patched clothes of one of the little men and the sad expression of the giant display a certain pathos. The artist was given the title Sani al-Molk in 1861, around the time of the execution of this painting.
Diba, L.S.: Royal Persian paintings, New York, 1998, pp. 240-1.