Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Portrait of Nasir al–Din Shah, ca. 1852–55
    Iran
    Salt print
    Gift of Charles Wilkinson, 1977 (1977.683.24)

    This photograph demonstrates what the medium brought to the art of portraiture—a certain personal and candid quality. Here, although Nasir al-Din Shah (r. 1848–96) appears in a costume he wears in more formal portraits, the pose and expression adopted in this photograph are more relaxed. He is shown outdoors, seated rather than standing, and leaning back in a chair rather than sitting upright. One hand lies casually in his lap, the other is placed on his hip. This type of photograph reflects Nasir al-Din's interest in recording the private, daily life of his household in addition to using photography to capture the official aspects of the court. He was a photographer himself and among his favorite subjects were members of his family and personal harem.

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  • Portrait of Nasir al-Din Shah, ca. 1852–55
    Iran
    Salt print
    Gift of Charles Wilkinson, 1977 (1977.683.24)

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