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Identification and Creation
Object Number
An Album of Persian Paintings and Drawings
Work Type
18th-19th century
Creation Place: Middle East, Iran
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Ink and colors on paper; leather and gold binding
30 x 20 cm (11 13/16 x 7 7/8 in.)
Ezzat-Malek Soudavar, Geneva, Switzerland (by 2014), by descent; to her son Abolala Soudavar, Houston, Texas (2014), loan; to Harvard Art Museums, 2015.

Ezzat-Malek Soudavar (1913-2014) formed this collection over a period of sixty years. She purchased the works of art on the international art market.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Loan from A. Soudavar in memory of his mother Ezzat-Malek Soudavar
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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This album is bound in folding or accordion format, with 20 folios, or 40 pages, containing Persian sketches and paintings. The majority of the works are rendered in black or red pigment, but a few are in full color. For the most part each page bears a single work, framed with decorative borders, but on a few pages, up to four different items have been fitted together. There are a variety of inscriptions—sometimes on the work of art and sometimes on the page backing—that name Persian artists active from the eighteenth through mid-nineteenth century, e.g., Mirza Baba (fl. 1785-1830), Muḥammad ‘Alī (son of Muhammad Zaman), Muhammad Baqir, Muhammad Hadi, Muhammad Hasan Afshar, and Muhammad Zaman (signed Ya Sahib al-Zaman) (fl. 1650-94). The album is dominated by botanical studies, but the contents also include animals and human figures. One work of art is non-Persian: a late Mughal painting of a semi-nude woman holding a lotus and enclosed in a crescent.
Publication History

Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, Islamic Art from the Collection of Edwin Binney 3rd (Washington, D.C., 1966-1968), no. 58

David Roxburgh and Mary McWilliams, ed., Technologies of the Image: Art in 19th-Century Iran, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2017), pp. 134-135, cat. 9

Exhibition History

Technologies of the Image: Art in 19th-Century Iran, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 08/26/2017 - 01/07/2018

Related Media

Book view of Album of Persian paintings

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at