Friday 26 April 2024

Lot 395

Hossein Behzad, Iranian 1894-1964- A portrait of Khayyam, 1961; opaque pigments on paper, signed...

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Lot 395

Hossein Behzad, Iranian 1894-1964-
A portrait of Khayyam, 1961;
opaque pigments on paper, signed...

Starting Bid: £700

Estimate: £1,000 - £1,500

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Lot 395


Hossein Behzad, Iranian 1894-1964-

A portrait of Khayyam, 1961;

opaque pigments on paper, signed and dated in Farsi (lower left) and with dedication, mounted, glazed and framed,

17 x 20.8cm. 

Provenance: Private US Collection


Good overall, unexamined out of frame, as viewed

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Hossein Behzad was the great innovator of Iranian art in the middle of the twentieth century. His early work was in the styles of the old masters of Persian painting of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, such as Kamal al-din Behzad and Reza Abbasi. In 1934 he left Tehran for Paris and stayed for thirteen months, during which time he studied various Eastern and Western painting styles at the Louvre, Guimet museum and Versailles. During this trip developed a completely new style of miniature painting, which fused aspects of traditional Persian painting with contemporary trends from the West. Through this new style he hoped to save miniature painting from oblivion.
To celebrate the millennium of Avicenna, in 1953 he held an exhibition at the Iran Bastan Museum. This caused a sensation and was seen by many international visitors. Soon after, and to much critical acclaim, he held an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris (sponsored by the French government) and several exhibitions in the Library of Congress in the United States.

Ghiyāth al-Dīn Abū al-Fatḥ ʿUmar ibn Ibrāhīm Nīsābūri (1048 -1131AH), commonly known as Omar Khayyam was a Persian  polymath, known for his contributions to mathematics, astronomy, philosophy, and poetry. He was born in Nishapur, the initial capital of the Seljuk Empire. As a mathematician, he is most notable for his work on the classification and solution of cubic equations, where he provided geometric solutions by the intersection of conics. Khayyam also contributed to the understanding of the parallel axiom. As an astronomer, he calculated the duration of the solar year with remarkable precision and accuracy, and designed the Jalali calendar, a solar calendar with a very precise 33-year intercalation cycle that provided the basis for the Persian calendar that is still in use after nearly a millennium.

There is a tradition of attributing poetry to Omar Khayyam, written in the form of quatrains (rubāʿiyāt). This poetry became widely known to the English-reading world in a translation by Edward Fitzgerald (Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, 1859), which enjoyed great success in the Orientalism of the fin de siècle.


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The buyer shall pay the hammer price together with a premium thereon of 26% up to £20,000 (31.2% inclusive of VAT), 25% from £20,001 - £500,000 (30% inclusive of VAT), 20% from £500,001 thereafter (24% inclusive of VAT). The premium price is subject to VAT at the standard rate.

VAT is not charged on the hammer price unless it is stated that there is 'VAT applicable on the hammer price at the end of the description. Buyer's premium is subject to VAT.

Qualifying living artists and the descendants of artists deceased within the last 70 years are entitled to receive a re-sale royalty each time their work is bought through an auction house or art market professional.

It applies to lots with hammer value over €1,000 as follows:
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ARR is capped at €12,500

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Buyers intending to export goods should ascertain whether an export licence is required before bidding. Export licences are issued by Arts Council England and application forms can be obtained from its Export Licensing Unit. Details can be found on the ACE website or by phoning ACE on 020 7973 5188. The need for import licences varies from country to country and you should acquaint yourself with all relevant local requirements and provisions before bidding. The refusal of any such licences shall not permit the cancelling of any sale nor allow any delay in making full payment for the lot.

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