This and the following lot are two of the paintings depicting historical rulers of Persia commisioned by Fath 'Ali Shah for the Imrat-i-Naw Palace in Isfahan. The series is well known from accounts by European travellers such as James Morier in 1808-9, Sir William Ouseley in 1812, J.S. Buckingham in 1825 and Charles Texier in 1839-40. All except Ouseley mention this particular depiction. Until 1985 it was thought that all the pictures from this series had been destroyed.
Mihr 'Ali was one of the most distinguished court artists during the earlier part of the reign of Fath 'Ali Shah. His best known works apart from this series are a group of life-size portraits of the Shah dated between 1802 and 1813. He is also known ot ahve worked in lacquer and a rare example of his work in watercolour is also in this sale as lot ???.
Buckingham, J.S.: Travels in Assyria, Media and Persia, London 1829, p.223
Falk, S.J.: Qajar Paintings, London 1972, figs.13-15, pp.34-38
Morier, J.: A Journey through Persia in the Years 1808 and 1809, London 1812, vol.1, p.167
Ouseley, Sir W.: Travels into various Countries of the East, London 1823, Vol. 3, p.26
Robinson, B.W.: Persian Drawing from the Fourteenth through the Nineteenth Century, New York 1965, pl.99, pp.127 and 141
Texier, C.: Description de l'Arménie, la Perse et la Mesopotamie, Paris 1852, p.129