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A monumental portrait of Fath-Ali Shah, the second ruler of the Qajar dynasty, will be offered at Bonhams’ Islamic and Indian sale on April 30 in London.

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A monumental portrait of Fath-Ali Shah, the second ruler of the Qajar dynasty, will be offered at Bonhams’ Islamic and Indian sale on April 30 in London.

The 5ft 5in x 3ft (1.67m x 93cm) oil on canvas, which is being offered at auction for the first time with an ‘estimate on request’, was commissioned by the Qajar court and shows the ruler seated against a jewelled bolster. It is expected to make in the region of £500,000.

Fath-Ali Shah, who reigned for 40 years after one of the most terrible civil wars in Persian history, is considered a major catalyst of Persia’s cultural revival. He came to power in 1796 at the age of 24.

Fath-Ali Shah’s enthusiasm for self-promotion led to the canon of life-sized portraits commissioned by the Qajar court. These works were paraded through the streets, sent abroad as diplomatic gifts or, as is the case here, created to adorn palace walls.

bonhams.com