Anonymous: Qajar Woman Holding a Diadem (mid 19th century)

(Hermitage, Saint Petersburg, Russia)

A painting by an unknown 19th century Persian artist. The Qajar dynasty was an Iranian royal who ruled Persia (Iran) from 1785 to 1925 until it was overthrown. This piece comes from a series of full-length paintings of 'court beauties', intended for the decoration of the ruler's palace. Her cloths are a combination of European fashion (the skirt) and Iranian court attire of a transparent silk blouse and long-sleeved jacket worn over it - this indicates that this is most likely a woman of the harem. On the her head is a diadem while she is holding an identical diadem in her hands, which are painted red with henna. Painting from the mid-19th century.