So, I have this little counter thing on my blog, and it doesn’t tell me much. What it does tell me though, is the kinds of search terms people use to find my blog. Lately I’ve been getting a lot of hits from the search “Qajar women with flowers.” I think they’re looking for these–photographs that have flowers superimposed onto them to create a layered/textured feel. They’re by Bahman Jalali, a famous Iranian photographer who passed away in 2010.
Antoin Sevruguin (1830s-1933) was an noted photographer during the Qajar era. Born to an Armenian-Georgian family in Tehran, Sevruguin commanded various languages and gained him access to diverse groups of people, which served him well in his photography.
As the first Iranian to own a camera, Nasir al-Din Shah loved photography, so he invited Sevruguin to document life in the Qajar court.
Based on the girl’s outfit, Sevruguin probably took the picture during the late nineteenth century. The short skirt, called a shalīteh, was introduced to Qajar fashion after Nasir al-Din Shah’s tour of Russia. He was fond of ballerinas and wanted the women in his harem to dress like them. His decision to introduce the tutu to the royal court influenced Iranian fashion for years to come.
((just two little Qajar era [1785 CE - 1925 CE] Iran doodles showcasing some dressing styles shown in photos and paintings, as well as Iran’s thicker physique during the era. This will be a part of another post, but I like it as a stand-alone drawing too :’)