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Muhammad III Zaman

 (Late 18th century (act. 1758-95))
Muhammad III Zaman was active/lived in Iran, Islamic Republic of.  Muhammad Zaman is known for Portrait and lacquer painting.

Muhammad III Zaman

Biography from Christie's London, King Street

Muhammad Zaman III was a painter, active from 1758-95, who worked both for Lutf 'Ali Khan Zand and subsequently for the Qajars.  He used both Aqa Zaman and Ya Sahib al-Zaman as his signatures.  The majority of his surviving output is in lacquer but he also worked in oils, and was a very sensitive portraitist (Layla S. Diba with Maryam Ekhtiar, Royal Persian Paintings, New York, 1998, no.44, pp.190-1).  This painting demonstrates this skill – and the artist’s ability to capture the intensity and mood of the sitters.  The distinct facial features and languid poses of the figures as well as the attention paid to the floral patterns of the textiles and the details of the costume are all hallmarks of Zaman’s style.

Painting in the Zand period saw a change in taste from the cosmopolitan and imperial themes of the late Safavid and Afsharid periods to more poetic and intimate subjects.  Paintings became informed by a sense of lyricism and emotional expressiveness that had not been a feature of Persian painting since the heyday of Safavid painting (Diba and Ekhtiar, op.cit., p.147). 

The contribution of Zand painters, such as Muhammad Zaman III, to the development of Persian painting was significant.  As well as providing the foundation for the apogee of life-size paintings under the Qajars and a return to the conventions of two-dimensionality, the interest in the expression of emotion and the psychological acuity contributed to the output of late 19th century Persian paintings in the works of artists such as Abu’l Hassan Sani’ al-Mulk and his pupils (Diba and Ekhtiar, op.cit., p.148). 

Other Zand paintings recently on the market include a Portrait of Rustam Khan Zand, sold Sotheby’s, London, 9 October 2013, lot 99.

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