Signed and dated: Hunar az khanazad Abu'l-Hasan-i Thalith 1294 (1877 AD).
Yahya Ghaffari was the son of Qajar court painter Abu'l-Hasan Ghaffari, and also known as Abu'l-Hasan 'the Third'. Born into a wider family of well-known artists, Yahya was also a scribe at a time when painting and the arts of the book were extensively patronised by the court. This was particularly the case under Nasir al-Din Shah Qajar (r.1848-96), himself an enthusiastic photographer and painter. Yahya Ghaffari flourished between the 1860s and 1880s, and is thought to have died between 1895 and 1906 (see R. Hillenbrand (ed.), Persian Painting, from the Mongols to the Qajars, London, 2000, p.86).
Yahya Ghaffari's painting exhibits certain similar features to that of his father Abu'l-Hasan, with whom he almost certainly trained at a young age, and this can be seen in a portrait by Yahya of his father, painted in 1876 and signed (for the first time) using the honorific title 'Abu'l-Hasan the Third', bestowed on him by Nasir al-Din Shah (ibid, p.86 and p.92, no.10).
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