August 8, 2012 By Ayoob Rahman

Expo of Imam Ali Paintings at Tehran

artAn exhibition of rare paintings of Imam Ali is attracting scores of people to Tehran, the capital of Iran during the current fall of the holy Ramadan. Tehran’s Shokuh Gallery hosts the event, the first ever such venture to showcase the portraits of Ali, a very important figure in the history of Islam, especially for Shia Muslims all over the world. Contrary to the Sunni Muslims, they regard the cousin of Prophet Muhammed as the first Khalifa and the most important person after the Prophet.

A collection of 32 paintings depicting portraits of Imam Ali have been put on display. The portraits have been borrowed from the Museum of Oriental History and Civilization. Some of these paintings are 100 years’ old while around 12 paintings have been done by contemporary artists including Behnush Forutan, Hojjat Shakiba and Enayatollah Nazari. Many of these portraits are based on a prototypical model introduced in Iran in 1865.

The paintings of portraits of Imam Ali date back to the Qajar era. Several founders of tea house painting like Hossein Qollar-Aqasi and Mohammad Modabber continued to paint images of Ali. During this period Imam Ali was visually represented as a heroic Shia chief. The image of the heroic champion fighting his enemy with his exceptional sword from on top of a strong, white stallion was, however eventually exchanged with the portrait of somber looking man, sometimes seated with the sword safely placed on his lap. The paintings of Ali were extensively reproduced in contemporary times as part of the iconography of the leader.

The exhibition will last till the end of the month. The gallery is observing the grand nights during Ramadan and this exhibit will give the visitors a better feeling for these nights, according to the organizers. The exhibition will be running until the end of Ramadan at the gallery located at 19 Amir Nuri Alley, North Salimi St., Andarzgu Blvd.

Shokuh art gallery is one of the major art houses in Iran promoting various cultural and indigenous arts and paintings. There will be exhibitions of various paintings in the art gallery. Thousands of people visit these art shows.

Posted in: Art