Two court musicians playing the qamanchay and clapping, Persia, Qajar, mid-19th century
oil on canvas, framed
145 by 112cm.
The surface appears to have old varnish which has discoloured over time, small areas of staining, a few accretions on the paint surface, minor scattered spots of pigment loss, some scattered darker areas visible under UV light especially on the figures, their faces and dresses, suggesting areas of repainting, canvas on wooden stretcher, as viewed.
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The figures are identified as ‘Qalam Kar Khanum’, and 'Naz-e Raqqas' (Naz, the dancer).
This painting and that of the following lot appear to be executed by the same artist, associated with the school of Abu'l-Hasan Ghaffari (Sani al-Mulk), chief painter to Nasir al-Din Shah Qajar (r.1848-96), during the first half of his reign. It is likely the two paintings joined others in a private home, illustrating the activities which occurred there. When these paintings appeared at Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, in 1975, there was one other in the group, of a lady seated against cushions, playing the tar (20 November 1975, lot 305).