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Meidan-i-Chah ou Place Royale, Ispahan; Ispahan, Meidan-i-Shah

Meidan-i-Chah ou Place Royale, Ispahan  by Flandin, Eugene-Napoleon

Meidan-i-Chah ou Place Royale, Ispahan by Flandin, Eugene-Napoleon

English: Isfahan (Iran): Naqsh-i Jahan Square ...

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The wide expanse of the Maydan was created as a polo ground by Shah Abbas soon after he moved his capital to Ispahan in the early 1600s. On the far side is the Masjid-i-Shah, the mosque of the Shah. The alignment of the building, at an angle to the entrance portal, was to ensure the correct orientation of the building towards Mecca, On the right is the Ali Qapu, the gate house of the palace complex, with its enormous wooden loggia projecting over the square from which the royal family could view the ceremonies and sporting events taking place below.

Flandin was in Ispahan in 1841 while taking part in a French diplomatic mission led by Edouard de Sercey to the Shah of Persia. He and his fellow artist Pascal Coste were employed to record Persia’s ancient and Islamic monuments, and after their return to France they published jointly eight volumes of text and plates entitled Voyage en Perse. Flandin had also travelled in Algeria in 1837, accompanying a military campaign by the French as they continued with their war of colonisation, and Flandin eventually published his book Algérie historique, pittoresque et monumentale in 1843.

Place of Origin: Isfahan (painted)

Date: 1841 (painted)

Artist/maker: Flandin, Eugène-Napoléon (painter)

Materials and Techniques: Watercolour over pencil

Marks and inscriptions: Signed, inscribed and dated Eug. Flandin. Ispahan. 1841.; inscribed on the back l’hippodrome à Ispahan, and on the mount, in a different hand, Atmeidan Schah Ispahan The polo ground in Ispahan

Dimensions: Height: 21.5 cm from catalogue, Width: 34.6 cm

Object history note: According to Rodney Searight: – `Acquired [via T. Crenshaw] from Fred Strasser, Galérie de Paris, Grand Rue, Geneva on 11th October 1976.’

Historical context note: A version of the lithograph (by Flandin) titled as above, in Flandin & Coste, Voyage en Perse. Perse Moderne, Pl.LIV. This shows a similar view to a drawing (pencil, heightened with white), titled and dated Maidan Shah – Ispahan – 13 [Juin ?] 1840, in VAM, DPD (D.406-1897). Flandin was in Isfahan in April-May and August 1840 and in February-March 1841. The wide expanse of the Maydan was created as a polo ground by Shah Abbas soon after he moved his capital to Ispahan in the early 1600s. On the far side is the Masjid-i-Shah, the mosque of the Shah. The alignment of the building, at an angle to the entrance portal, was to ensure the correct orientation of the building towards Mecca, On the right is the Ali Qapu, the gate house of the palace complex, with its enormous wooden loggia projecting over the square from which the royal family could view the ceremonies and sporting events taking place below. For a description of the Maydan see Flandin & Coste, Voyage en Perse … Relation de Voyage, 1851, Vol.I, pp.340-50. A similar view was published by Coste in his publication, Monuments Modernes de la Perse, Paris, 1867, Pl.VI-VII. Another view of the Maydan was the subject of an oil by Flandin, exhibited at the Salon in 1853.

Descriptive lineWatercolour, `Meidan-i-Chah ou Place Royale, Ispahan’, 1841, by Eugène-Napoléon Flandin

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no): Charles Newton `Images of the Ottoman Empire’, 2007, illustrated on page 36

Exhibition History: A Middle Eastern Journey Artists on their travels from the collection of Rodney Searight (Edinburgh Talbot Rice Art Centre 01/01/1980-31/12/1980)

Materials: Pencil; Watercolour

Subjects Depicted: Mosques; Ispahan; Masjid-i-Shah; Meidan-i-Shah; Ali Qapu

 

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