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Portrait of Mirza Husayn Khan and Mirza Taghi Khan Amir Kabir, One of 274 Vintage Photographs

Arts of the Islamic World

Both of these photographs, depicting portraits of royal officers and officials, have been attributed to Antoin Sevruguin, who served as a court photographer to Nasir al-Din Shah. Sevruguin’s photographic portraits are often recognized by a skillful manipulation of light and a keen attention to capturing aspects of the sitter’s personality.

The portraits reveal some of the effects of Iran’s exposure to European culture in the late nineteenth and the early twentieth century. The two soldiers’ uniforms suggest how Iranian costume gradually incorporated European modes of dress. At right, Mirza Husayn Khan and Mirza Taghi Khan Amir Kabir, the famed prime minister to Nasir al-Din Shah (later executed by the same ruler), are shown posing in elegant European suits. Their powerful political positions are countered by Sevruguin’s use of soft light.
MEDIUM Gelatin silver printing out paper
DATES late 19th-early 20th century
PERIOD Qajar Period
DIMENSIONS 3 1/4 x 4 5/8 in. (8.3 x 11.7 cm)  (show scale)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Purchase gift of Leona Soudavar in memory of Ahmad Soudavar
RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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CAPTION Portrait of Mirza Husayn Khan and Mirza Taghi Khan Amir Kabir, One of 274 Vintage Photographs, late 19th-early 20th century. Gelatin silver printing out paper, 3 1/4 x 4 5/8 in. (8.3 x 11.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchase gift of Leona Soudavar in memory of Ahmad Soudavar, 1997.3.97
IMAGE overall, 1997.3.97_IMLS_PS3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
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