Drawing on paper, tinted with watercolours. Depicts a female acrobat performing a handstand and wearing the sort of indoor clothing which was favoured by the urban elite. Mounted in a pair in a cardboard frame.
This painting is one of a series of watercolours which depict scenes that are well known in nineteenth century Persian painting and commercial photography. Judging by the fashions worn by the painting’s subjects they were probably painted between 1850 and 1875, quite possibly for sale to tourists. This example shows a female acrobat. Although the acrobat would not have been a member of the elite class in Persian society she wears the sort of indoor clothing which was favoured by the urban elite, since in nineteenth century Iran the servants of the elite and those who performed for the elite dressed in similar fashions to their employers. Paintings of female entertainers were very popular in nineteenth century Persia. They were rarely exhibited on their own and were usually hung in sets on the walls of a room.