Abu'l Hasan Ghaffari was active/lived in Iran, Islamic Republic of. Abul Ghaffari is known for portrait painting.
Biography from Sotheby's London, New Bond Street
The master painter Abu'l Hasan Ghaffari was born in 1812 in Kashan. Ghaffari joined a family who had been practicing art for generations. At age fifteen he was apprenticed to Mihr 'Ali, assuming the role of official court painter for Muhammad Shah. From 1845-50, he studied painting in Italy and upon his return he was promoted to naqqash bashi. Ghaffari was a master draughtsman whose naturalistic style introduced an emotional realism to Qajar portraiture, combining influences from European Renaissance works whilst retaining the traditional Persian approach in his attention to detail and pattern. In 1861, Ghaffari was appointed Sani' al-Mulk and assumed responsibilities including directing the Dar al-Funun college of art, the illustration of a monumental copy of A Thousand and One Nights, and the weekly governmental newspaper Sharaq.
Biography from Christie's London, King Street
Abu'l Hassan Ghaffari (b.1812-)
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Hi work demonstrates a change in the aesthetic of Qajar painting in the mid-19th century (Julian Raby, Qajar Portraits, London, 1999, p.53). The artist began his career as a pupil of Mihr 'Ali, but none of his early works survive and it is therefore unclear as to whether his painting began in a style more typical of Fath 'Ali Shah's reign. He was appointed as naqqash-bashi (chief painter) at the court of Muhammad Shah in 1842 and was sent to study in Italy and Paris, a factor which began to manifest itself in a European-influenced realism in his work that was new to Persian painting (Yahya Zoka, Life and Works of Sani' Ol-Molk 1814-1866, Iran, 2003, p.21).
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