Iranian connection: A glimpse of Mahmoud Farshchian’s works

  • Kaushani Banerjee, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Nov 02, 2015 16:25 IST
Chaste (The Prophet Joseph), a painting by Mahmoud Farshchian.


A rare painting exhibition, titled Beauty Of Creation, is set to offer the city a slice of Persian culture. The mention of the word Persian brings myriad images to one’s mind —Persian Gulf, Persian oil, Persian cats and, of course, Persian carpets, with their intricate detailing.

This can also be said of the art of Persian miniatures, which are richly detailed paintings. The ongoing exhibition will feature miniatures created by Iranian painter Mahmoud Farshchian. “In this show, the viewer will be taken into a realm of the real and unreal. His artworks are known to display the synergy and oneness of mankind, animals and nature brought to life. One will witness an appealing fusion of the traditional and the modern in this collection of fine art prints from Iran,” says Jalpa H Vithalani, curator of the show.

Mahmoud Farshchian

While Iran has produced a number of eminent miniature painters, Farshchian has played a decisive role in introducing Iranian art to the world. In fact, his distinctive style has given rise to a school of his own. Farshchian (85) is a native of Isfahan, the cradle of Persian arts and artists in Iran. He is currently living in the US.

‘Blissfull Suffering’

Talking about his works, Mahdi Zare, director, Culture House of the IR of Iran (culture wing of the Iranian Consulate), says, “Farshchian has now become a point of reference. His mysticism places him in the avant-garde. He probes through colors, and strives to acquaint the observer with the spiritus mundi. He had no intentions to represent the rose, rather, he urges us on to sense its fragrance.”

‘Enchanted Moonlight’

Farshchian’s art is inspired by many sources such as biblical and Quranic stories, in addition to works of poets like Rumi, Omar Khayyam, Hafez Shirazi and Ferdowsi. His works blend Persian classical painting, poetry and modern art. While most of his works are rooted deeply in religion, some go beyond traditional concepts.


One of the works, Forbearance, which will be on display at this city exhibition, depicts a horse, which, in Iranian culture and art history, holds a superior place.

‘Scent Of Beloved’

However, in this painting, the horse is a symbol of the soul, the rebel, refinement and freedom. “Farshchian’s artistic expression gravitates around psychological and semiotic concepts. Each artwork weaves together a story that originates from Persian mysticism, and carries subliminal messages for the viewer,” adds Vithalani.

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