The inscription is as follows:
in paykar-e naghz o in homayun tasvir
darkash (?) nayaband bar afaq nazir
tamthal-e darakhshandeh-ye mah-e borj-e ashti
shahzadeh hasan'ali shah-e charkh be-zir
The translation reads:
This beautiful portrait and this royal picture, ... a like of which would not be found in the universe, A royal portrait of a shining moon of the constellation of reconciliation, [is] Prince Hasan 'Ali the King who has the celestial globe under him
Hasan 'Ali Mirza Shuja' al-Saltana, 1204-70 (1789-1853/4) was the sixth son of Fath 'Ali Shah. He was appointed Governor of Tehran in 1218 (1803-4) and Governor of Khorassan in 1231 (1815-6), when he was given the title of Shuja' al-Saltana. The size and importance of the province of Khorassan made him a person of great consequence; the turbulence of the area and its proximity to Afghan and Turkmen raiders required him to maintain a considerable military establishment, a fact which was later to render him open to suspicion.
In 1818 he had defeated a force of Afghans at Kafir Qila'. During the 1820-2 war with the Ottomans, rumours reached court of his disaffection together with his older brother Husayn 'Ali Mirza Farman Farma, Governor of Fars, and the two brothers hurried to court in order to refute the charges against them. Husayn 'Ali was exculpated, but Hasan 'Ali was stripped of his governorship and sent into internal exile in 1823. He returned to favour in 1243 (1827-8) becoming Governor of Kirman, which post he held until the death of his father.
On the death of Fath 'Ali Shah, a succession dispute broke out briefly; Husayn 'Ali Mirza, born in the same year as 'Abbas Mirza, proclaimed himself Shah, had his name read in the khutba in the mosque in Shiraz and struck coins in his name. He mustered his forces under the command of Hasan'ali Mirza against the new Shah, Muhammad, son of 'Abbas Mirza. The young Shah sent Manuchihr Khan Mu'tammad al-Dawla to Fars to crush the revolt, which was brutally done, and the two rebel princes were sent to Tehran. Husayn 'Ali Mirza died in prison of cholera three months later, and Hasan 'Ali Mirza was blinded and sent to Ardabil where he remained until his death in 1852.
In the painting he appears in full court regalia, wearing the Qajar crown and copious jewellery. There is no mention of his titles in the inscription panel, suggesting that this painting was completed before 1231/1815-16. It is, however, highly unusual to find such a lengthy and poetic inscription on an oil painting of the period. It suggests that this was a commission of great importance.
Two other portraits of him are published in Bamdad (see below). From all three paintings, it is apparent that he inherited his father's aquiline nose and slim figure.
Bamdad, M.: Dictionary of National Biography of Iran, Tehran, 1966, Vol.I, pp.367-78.
Encyclopaedia Iranica, vol. IX, pp. 301-2
Hambly, G.R.G.: Iran during the reign of Fath 'Ali Shah and Muhammad Shah, in Cambridge History of Iran, Cambridge, 1991, pp. 163-4, 168