2017 Student Research Conference:
30th Annual Student Research Conference

Qajar Academicism and the Perception of Women


Emma Shouse
Dr. Sara Orel, Dr. Julia DeLancey, and Dr. Heidi Cook, Faculty Mentors

During the Persian Qajar Dynasty (1785–1925), the ways women were portrayed in art drastically changed as a result of the rise of European-inspired Persian fine art academies. The most dramatic changes in Qajar art can be seen during the reigns of Muhammad Shah (1834-1848) and Naser al-Din Shah (1848-1896). During the reign of Muhammad Shah, Persian artists traveled to Europe for painting instruction. At the same time, depictions of women shifted away from focusing on traditional Persian beauty standards towards those of Western Europe. Muhammad Shah’s son, Naser al-Din Shah, encouraged artists to continue their European training, and the paintings during his reign used more illusionistic naturalism. This paper will compare both paintings of women by Persian artists done before the founding of the domestic academies and Persian academic paintings of women in order to better understand how Western aesthetics challenged and changed Persian ideals of modesty and beauty. 

Keywords: Persia, Women, Painting, Academic, Iran, Qajar

Topic(s):Art - Art History

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 213-5
Location: OP 2210
Time: 10:30

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