The beginning of Innovation in Iranian miniature painting.
In fact, the modern miniature painting movement began with Hadi Tajvidi, who taught at the Conservatory of art and Handicrafts, and he raised students like Mohammad Ali Zavieh and Aboutaleb Moghimi there.
Ali Doroudy also taught students such as Nosratollah Yousefi and Abdullah Bagheri in the same school in the field of gilding. Also outside the conservatory, artists such as Hossein Behzad and Sorougin, nicknamed Darwish in Tehran, Hossein Haj Mosavar al-Molki and Mirza Agha Emami in Isfahan, performed significant artistic activities at the same time.
Master Isa Bahadori was in charge of Isfahan Conservatory and under his supervision, master painters such as Javad Rostam Shirazi, Mahmoud Farshchian and Houshang Jazizadeh were brought up.
Master Hossein Taherzadeh Behzad was also the director of the Tehran Fine Arts Conservatory. Each of these professors worked hard to revive traditional arts and painting, and they created a current that continues to this day in parallel with the school of Kamal al-Mulk.
Of course, it is certain that this change in art and traditionalism, if done consciously by the artist and the understanding of the basics of art, may lead to a new style in the field of art.
But there were also painters and miniature artists at that period, who were creative and modern to achieve a new art movement, and sometimes they even went wrong in this way.
Among the group of contemporary painters and miniature artists, some such as skilled craftsmen, who were masters in the construction of a beautiful art object and handicrafts, and some have repeated the works of art of the past. And another group has mastered the art of drawing beautiful patterns and designs, but without originality and creativity in artwork.
However, there are still miniature artists and painters who, with great effort and accurate knowledge of this art and researching the works of artists of previous periods, have taken the right path and started a new style without making mistakes and pure imitation of repetitive painting patterns.
These modernist artists have acquired a new style that has become the founder of a new style in the history of Iranian painting and miniature art.
After miniature artists such as: Junaid Baghdadi, Kamaluddin Behzad, Agha Mirk, Sultan Mohammad Naghash, Reza Abbasi and many others … Hossein Behzad is the only contemporary artist, who in spite of following the patterns and style of ancient Iranian painting, invented a new style in Iranian miniature painting. His artistic style has a variety of movements and a new style in the miniature art of Iranian painting.
In the history of modern painting, master Hossein Behzad is known as one of the pioneers of Iranian miniature painting.
In Behzad’s painting style, which was based on the Isfahan school, the importance of design and color limitation is obvious. Paying attention to people’s moods, shading, reducing details, choosing new themes and contemporary topics are some of the features of Behzad’s style.
Hossein Behzad has been inspired by European art to show his depth and observance of the principles of anatomy, and also he has inspired monochrome painting from the old Chinese painting.
The style of painting before Behzad was a common Mongol painting style, and the illustrations were all similar and uniform. Hossein Behzad tried very hard to change this style, and he was able to bring Iranian original shapes & form into the new style of miniature painting.
Behzad studied various styles of Iranian, European and Oriental painting in order to create a style in Iranian miniature that is completely Iranian and at the same time compatible with today’s art.
The miniature painting style was imitated and copied in that art period, so he tried to create a new style in Iranian painting so that this original Iranian art would not be forgotten.
During his artistic life, Hossein Behzad created about four hundred works of art. In his paintings, he depicted the inner state and mood of people. Another of his creations was the introduction of shading method in the new style of painting, unlike the paintings of the ancients, Behzad used shading in his paintings and new style of Iranian miniature.
Since in the past most of the miniature paintings were depicted with small dimensions and only for books, however Master Behzad even changed the dimensions of the Iranian miniatures and executed them as a large painting. Hossein Behzad can be mentioned as one of the first innovative painters of modern painting after the Safavid period. He also tried to return Persian painting to Iranian originality, and he was able to change the miniature painting style of the Qajar period.
Although Behzad did not follow a particular style of painting, it may be said that his creativity in inventing a new style in Iranian miniature painting had a great influence on other contemporary painters.
The Changes and innovations in Behzad’s painting style are mostly in design and implementation methods of miniature painting.
Features such as observing the principles of anatomy, observing the perspective visually, emphasizing the design of the lines, sharpness and slowness of the lines and their visual power, paying attention to people’s inner and mental states, drawing white on black and dark backgrounds, depicting paintings as an independent painting, illustrating the faces of the greats of Iranian science, literature and art, drawing the customs of life of the common people, creating a new style in painting to recount the Iranian style and …
Master Hossein Behzad, an enchanter artist from the Orient.
French painter, playwright and musician Jean Cocteau says of Hussein Behzad:
Behzad is the Prophet and a magician from the east and of the fictions land.
The freedom of feeling in Behzad’s art of painting had reached a point where he was creating a world of philosophical dreams and ideas. Behzad’s art is inspired by the treasure of Persian literature and the thoughts of mystics and poets.
Master Behzad’s knowledge and experience in expressing the mood and anatomy of faces, his strong lines and powerful pen, which expresses the ability and mastery of this great artist. Also the artist uses of clear and pure colors, which can be compared to the Impressionist style of Western art.
If the Orient always told us stories with the sweet tales of the Thousand and One Nights of the old legendary palaces, the black-eyed maids of the moon, this time a man with white hair and influential eyes and limbs, with the help of magic lines and colors, it has opened up fascinating roles in front of our eyes. Undoubtedly, there is only one master in the field of Persian painting in our century in terms of design and color, who is Hossein Behzad, the Iranian artist and painter.
A look at the life of Hossein Behzad:
Hossein Behzad is undoubtedly the greatest and most famous Iranian painter and miniaturist of the contemporary century. He was born in 1894 in Tehran. His grandfather, Mirza Lotfollah, was a preacher at the Shiraz Mosque.
And his father, Mirza Fazlollah Isfahani was a painter and builder of Qalamadan living in Tehran. From the age of seven, his father sent him to Mullah Gholi Qalamdan Saz in the handicraft community for apprenticeship.
In a short time, his father and teacher died of cholera, and Behzad worked under the supervision of Mirza Hassan Negargar for twelve years. At the age of eighteen, he worked independently in a room at the Haj Rahim Khan house in the tobacco Bazaar.
At this time, Hossein Behzad often worked in the style of Safavid school paintings and the works of Kamaluddin Behzad and Reza Abbasi.
The paintings of Behzad showed such a mastery miniature, that it was very difficult to distinguish his work from the artworks of masters and artists of the past.
Hossein Behzad married in 1916 and the only result of this marriage is a boy named Parviz. Behzad went to Paris in 1933 and studied art and various styles of Western painting during his thirteen months in France. Behzad spend most of his time in the Louvre and Versailles museums learning and studying the works of art of European masters of painting. And he also spent a little time for living expenses and preparing Iranian paintings by order of a few Iranian Kalimi merchants.
The result of this study and research on Western painting styles became the foundation of a new style in Iranian painting.
Behzad expresses his opinion on the method of performing this style in the works of painting as follows:
My study of different styles of Iranian and foreign painting was to create a style that is both Iranian and contemporary with today’s art.
Behzad believed that the Iranian style of painting has become more imitative, and for this reason, the originality and style of Iranian painting will gradually be forgotten. Therefore he tried to create a new style of miniature painting, so that the art of Iranian painting would not be forgotten.
Hossein Behzad made a bridge between the art of Western painting and Iranian painting that to give a new color and style to the art of painting in Iran. Behzad gave great value to the Iranian miniature of this original and national Iranian art, and he was finally able to find new ways to perform miniature painting, also he made his name and the art of Iranian painting famous in the art world.
© KHorshid Artworks Collection.