Научная статья на тему 'The mystery hidden in the picture of an unknown artist - was revealed!'

The mystery hidden in the picture of an unknown artist - was revealed! Текст научной статьи по специальности «Языкознание и литературоведение»

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Ключевые слова
PICTURE / BARE-BREASTED

Аннотация научной статьи по языкознанию и литературоведению, автор научной работы — Yunus Nigar

The artistic fact revealed in relation with the fine art in the Qajar Period occupies an important place in the article. The main factors connecting the aforementioned issue are: the types of photography and painting. Here, the painting work of the artist recognized as “unknown” for the history acts as an object and the photo of Naseraddin Shah Qajar’s wife acts as a subject. I have provided a wide artistic technical and historical analysis on the subject by conducting comprehensive research work on the claimed fact. At the same time, two material evidences were compared, similar and common features were grounded and a conclusion was made. Note: The investigated research refers to the Qajar Period (XIX century). The nuance (the portrait of an unknown woman) remained hidden for the history of fine art over centuries is studied by me for the first time and revealed through this article

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Текст научной работы на тему «The mystery hidden in the picture of an unknown artist - was revealed!»

Section 1. Study of art.

Yunus Nigar, Artist, Art critic, Expert The member of the Union of Artists of Azerbaijan PhD student of Azerbaijan State Academy of Arts Teacher at Children's Art School No. 3 E-mail: nigar_yunus@mail.ru

The mystery hidden in the picture of an unknown artist — was revealed!

Abstract: The artistic fact revealed in relation with the fine art in the Qajar Period occupies an important place in the article. The main factors connecting the aforementioned issue are: the types of photography and painting. Here, the painting work of the artist recognized as "unknown" for the history acts as an object and the photo of Naseraddin Shah Qajar's wife acts as a subject. I have provided a wide artistic — technical and historical analysis on the subject by conducting comprehensive research work on the claimed fact. At the same time, two material evidences were compared, similar and common features were grounded and a conclusion was made. Note: The investigated research refers to the Qajar Period (XIX century). The nuance (the portrait of an unknown woman) remained hidden for the history of fine art over centuries is studied by me for the first time and revealed through this article.

Keywords: An unknown artist, the great mystery hidden in the picture, Naseraddin Shah Qajar, the enthusiast of photography, the photo of harem woman, the portrait of a woman, Anes Al-Doleh, the work of painting; picture, bare-breasted

The work of an unknown artist created during the rule of Naseraddin Shah Qajar (1848-1896), the fourth Shah of a famous Azeri-turkish dynasty, that reigned in the territory of Iran in 1797-1925, in fact, had kept a big fact hidden for centuries. As a result of artistic — technical and historical investigations, I have witnessed such a great fact that neither this fact has been found in any source in the world of fine art up today, nor there has been someone who investigated and revealed this fact. So, the dark fate of the above mentioned picture which is known as "the work of an unknown artist — the portrait of woman" in the history of art has now ended. Regarding my doctoral thesis on art criticism, while taking an interest in the life and activity of Naseraddin Shah Qajar who considered the fourth ruler of Qajar

State, I tried to reveal his enthusiasm, tastes, interests and personal features. At that time, one of the nuances that mostly draw my attention was Shah's harem (court ladies, maidservants) and the fact that he was an enthusiast of photo. The opening of a new discovery in the world of art just revealed through those photos...

It is known that an important place was dedicated to the painting type of fine art, including the types of decorative and applied arts during the reign of all Qajar Shahs. In particular, a special importance was given to painting during the rule of Fatali Shah (1797-1834). Famous palace painters of Fatali Shah Qajar were — Mirza Baba and Mehr Ali Mirza that they engraved Shah's portraits on canvas with tec-nique of oil painting. Such talented palace painters

also operated during the reign of Naseraddin Shah Qaj ar. It is not a secret that, Naseraddin Shah (1831— 1896) was the enthusiast of photography. Taking photo-shoot of the women in his harem became a kind of his hobby. Even, he established a special palace workshop for a photo studio at his palace and most of time, he printed the photos taken by him at that workshop and kept them in an album. Though famous Russian photographer Anton Sevryugin was the main palace photograph of Naseraddin Shah, it is necessary to mention local photographers such as Reza, Ahmad, Yusif and Abdonah. There were the photos of some harem women in an intimate form which were taken not by Sevryugin, but by the Shah himself. At that time, they were hidden in a very reliable place. Those black and white photos are still preserved in the archive of Golestan Palace where Qajars lived (at the Center of Multimedia Documents).

It became clear to me as a result of research studies that in fact, the most beloved wife of Naseraddin Shah Qajar, Anes Al-Doleh (Fatima Sultan) was described in the painting picture entitled "A young lady with European taste" (oil paint) belonging to an unknown artist referred to the XIX century. The above mentioned work of painting with wooden frame in the dimension of 152x78 cm was most likely created on the order of Naseraddin Shah by presenting the photo of which the author was the Shah himself. It is interesting that two factors, both the picture and the author of the photo are mentioned as "unknown" in the history of art. However, it becomes clear to us from the face of the woman in the photo that she is the Shah's wife and we came to a conclusion that of course, the author of the photo was Naseraddin Shah himself as the woman's photo was taken in a position of naked chest. I have seen the above mentioned photo at the Center of Multimedia Documents of Golestan Palace during my investigations. There was written "Anes Al-Doleh" in the Persian alphabet with a black pen in the lower part of the photo. Though Anes Al-Doleh who was Naseraddin Shah's main woman was a Georgian, but she was born in Mazandaran province of Iran. She was at her early ages in the photo taken in a position of naked chest. It should also be noted that there were several bare

breasted photo ofAnes Al-Doleh, not only one and as it was not appropriate for the rules of Islam, it was not allowed to reflect and publish them in the media.

The woman's head wear and hanging ornaments mounted on it draw the attention in the black — white photo. As well, necklaces on her neck are distinguished by their decorative nature. We see the same details in the picture of unknown artist. Even if we pay attention to the chest decorations of Shah's wife, we can see a medallion hung on chaplets which there is also a round medallion in the decoration on woman's chest in the picture. And the ear — rings hung on the woman's ear whose medallion is described comprise a set with a brooch attached to her hair and some small ornaments in her clothes. The second detail with the highest probability which makes it clear for us that this is really the reflection of Anis Al-Doleh, the most beloved woman of Naseraddin Shah and just was transferred from the above mentioned photo — is the bare reflection ofwoman's chest in the picture and the existence of decorations extending to chest and the beads starting from ear and turning around the jaw. We can note in terms of artistic analysis that the bare and small breast of the woman was described in a quite poetic manner in the picture. If we look attentively at the photo, we can see an arch behind the Shah's wife. The arch of the same type is also found in the background of the woman described in the picture. The manner of sitting of Anes Al-Doleh, her glaze, manner of putting her hands (her left hand is on her right hand) in the photo, the elegant appearance of hands both in the photo and picture, her facial features (her joint eyebrows, eyes, nose and lip), hanging head and neck decorations, the wide bottom part of her skirt form the same compliance and unity with the picture drawn by an unknown artist. Only one different nuance is obvious — the description of the woman's skirt as long and the woman herself as standing in the picture unlike the photo. The Shah's wife dressed a wide, short skirt resembling the ballet skirts. This clothing style was characteristic almost for all court ladies of Naseraddin Shah. If we compare both evidences, we can see that there is a thin, lap lane around both of skirts. The shoes worn by them are similar in form, even we wouldn't be wrong if we say

that they are same. And also, beaded cloth turned upward in the lower ends and arms of open-collar shirt of the woman draws the attention in the photo which the same clothing detail was described by the artist in the picture.

While looking this picture created in the style of Qajar's palace through the eyes of experts, we see that the lower part of the woman's tiered skirt gives the impression of a tulle fabric and straight, shapeless feet are noticed under the thin smear of color. Just as those straight, shapeless feet in the photo of Naseraddin Shah's harem lady. I suppose that this work of painting created by looking at the photo on the personal order of Naseraddin Shah Qajar had undergone several amendments before and after at the request of Shah. For example, painter's description of the woman in the photo not in a seated, but standing position, firstly describing her skirt as short, then hiding the woman's feet behind the long skirt was completely executed by Naseraddin Shah's personal desire. It becomes clear from restoration and expertise points of view that the lower part of the woman's skirt in the description was combines to the upper part as a patch afterwards. So, here, we came to the conclusion that the artist firstly described the woman's skirt as round and short as a ballet skirt, but later, Shah saw it and ordered to extend the skirt thinking that the spectator may know the woman in the picture. Of course, the artist — painter is subject to the customer's demands, in addition, if this customer is a head of the state. I even suppose that the recognition of the author as unknown is due to Naseraddin Shah. To my mind, Naseraddin Shah Qajar didn't want to show his beloved wife to the world in a position of bare breast in the picture and he ordered it only for himself. And it was described as the portrait of the woman "in a style of palace" belonging to an unknown artist. And the reality was known to the artist, Shah and our main character — the woman in the photo, Anes Al-Doleh... By this order, Naseraddin Shah brought an innovation to the fine art of the Qajar's time. As, neither before Naseraddin Shah, nor after him, no any Shah ordered the description of his wife as bare — breasted.

My opinions about the personality of the author of this painting masterpiece are divided into two

groups: either the above mentioned author is male, young artist or the author is a woman... We can call this author as the first female artist in palace during the history of Qajars that my studies related to this fact still continue. However, both assumptions serve to the fact that the portrait was drawn not from alive subject, but only from photo.

So, my investigations showed that Shah didn't consider it a fault to take the photo of his harem women in a half-naked position and hide them in a reliable manner in the place, for this reason, he took the risk to make the artist to draw the picture of his wife on the canvas. However, he forgot one thing: a giant power like time. Time passed, the shah's era is over, he passed away, after a while, the Qajar dynasty came to an end. Though quite racy photos for that period were preserved and kept in the archive, they didn't evade the eyes of researchers and media. Even the photos of Shah's harem took in a position ofbare breast and feet were disseminated among the public.

While coming to the similarity of the picture with its alive instigator, we know that artists are beauty lovers and worshipers of face. If they want, they draw everything beautiful. For this purpose, the author had painted Shah's wife as standing, tall, beautiful and exquisite style to conceal that the bare breasted woman was Naseraddin Shah's wife, and also for Shah's wife to look more pretentious. At the same time, the fruit of the artist's imagination was also added to the woman's clothing description. Although, he both let everybody notice the general image similarity and also hid it with some nuances. Just this approach was one of the first in the Qajar painting, generally, for the Qajar State. It is known that in reference to his individual characteristics, Naseraddin Shah was a person who was fond of making the firsts and owned a European taste.

I consider that this great mystery hidden in the picture was kept secretly for its time. The preservation and keeping secretly the bare — breasted photo of Shah's wife in the archive of the palace and its being hidden, the lack of the signature of the author of the painting work and the photo, not mentioning the identity of the woman described in the picture and the current government being subjected to the rules of Islam justify my thoughts.

"Nasreddin Shah Qajar's wife — "Anes Al-Doleh's photo". The Multimedia

Anes Al-Doleh's portrait". Oil paint; Documents Center of Golestan Palace

152x78 cm. XIX century. An unknown artist

All rights reserved and it is prohibited to use the writing without a reference to the author.

References:

1. Multimedia Documents Center of Golestan palace. Tehran, Iran.

2. Искусство Ирана. Каджарская живопись. http://kovlam.livejournal.com

3. Фото настоящего гарема. Ilyanov. http://YouTube.com

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