Composition 14

Faramarz Pilaram Iranian

Not on view

Faramarz Pilaram’s Composition 14 depicts a stylized scene of the Imam ‘Ali astride his white horse, Dhu al-janna. His right arm is bent back, wielding his famous bifurcated sword, known as Dhu al-fiqar,. ‘Ali’s face is covered with a blue veil and he wears a gold-colored helmet. A sun-halo appears behind the horse, indicating the holy nature of the rider. ‘Ali is revered as the first Shi‘i imam and the fourth caliph, or rightful successor of the Prophet Mohammad.
Composition 14 is characteristic of Pilaram’s work in the early 1960s, drawing on both popular Shi‘i print imagery and traditions of the illuminated manuscript and miniature painting, as well as artistic developments in Europe and the U.S. It offers a striking example of his interest in creating a modern visual idiom for a national identity rooted in Iran’s historic craft and decorative arts traditions.

Composition 14, Faramarz Pilaram (Iranian, born Tehran 1937–1982 Tehran), Watercolor, graphite, metallic paints, colored pencil, charcoal, and black ink stamps on paper, Persia, Iran, Middle East

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