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Ashura in "Coffee House" Paintings

Date: October 10

Coffee-house painting is an Iranian narrative painting style with epical, religious and festive themes emerging during the Constitution Movement (1906) on the basis of Iranian folklore, epical and religious art traditions.

Created by self-taught painters, the influence of Classical Persian Miniature painting and to some extent European Naturalism of the time appear as the sources of inspiration of this genre of painting. In the same way that story-telling (naqali) in coffee houses was largely inspired by poetry, Coffee-house paintings, narrative in nature, sometimes appear as fine and delicate as miniature paintings.

The real origin and art history of Coffee House painting is not really known due to lack of documents. Despite that the remaining oil paintings and frescos takes it back to the Safavid era (16th century) with tile painting in Chehel Sotoun Palace in Esfahan (Isfahan) as a clear example.

In contrast to European Naturalism Coffee house painting is a purely imaginary style with painter using no models except his imagination, with paintings of Ashura, the last judgment and illustrations inspired by the great Iranian Epic, Shahnameh (The Epistle of Kings) by Ferdowsi.
Hoseein Qollar-Aghasi (1902-1966)                Mohammad Moddaber (around 1900-1967)
Hossein Qollar-Aghasi and his loyal student-follower Mohammad Modaber who died in grave poverty are considered as the founders of the present style of Coffee House Painting.

Qollar-Aghasi, Karbala Tragedy, Oil painting, 130 in 241, Sa'dabad Cultural Center
Qollar-Aghasi, Bringing back Moslem to Imam Hossein, oil painting, 110 by 171, Reza Abbasi Museum
Mohammad Moddaber, On the Day of Judgment.
Mohammad Moddaber, Ashura, Reza Abbasi Museum
Hassan Esmailzadeh, Ashura
Mohammad Hamidi
Abbas  Blockifar
Ahmad Khalili, Ashuraا
 Mahmoud Farshchian, Evening of Ashura
Javad Ahmadzadeh, 2010Javad Ahmadzadeh, Ashura, Oil Painting 2010
And we end this exhibition of Ashura in the works of Coffee-House Painters with two unique works by Mohammad Moddaber, The Day of Judgment and The place of Last Judgment (sahrayeh mahshar)
Mohammad Moddaber, The Day of Judgment
Mohammad Moddaber, The Place of Last Judgment
Source: Tavoos