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Funeral of Imam Husayn

Arts of the Islamic World

As suggested by the surrounding text in Persian prose, this painting may depict the funeral of Husayn, the third imam, or leader, of the Shiʿa branch of Muslims who was martyred in the desert of Karbala. The page may have once belonged to a historical manuscript on the lives of the prophets and the twelve imams of Twelver Shiʿism, the branch of Islam associated with Iran. It could likewise have come from a text specifically narrating the story of Karbala, such as a maqtal (a monograph on the death of a revered figure). While the painting style is not the most refined, the convention of depicting figures in an iconic manner is typical of Qajar artistic traditions. In both the Qajar and Zand periods, courtly patronage emphasized life-size paintings, which ultimately resulted in a decline in the production of miniature painting.
MEDIUM Ink and color on paper
DATES mid to late 19th century
PERIOD Qajar Period
DIMENSIONS Written pg: 5 7/8 x 10 1/4 in. (14.9 x 26 cm) MIniature: 5 7/8 x 7 3/8 in. (14.9 x 18.7 cm)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Anonymous gift
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