With the generous support of the Freunde des Museums für Islamische Kunst e.V., the Museum for Islamic Art is currently restoring three paintings on canvas and financing the preliminary examination of a large ceiling painting on textile for the future permanent exhibition in 2026. All works date from the 19th century and are representative of Qadjar Persia.
This extraordinary painting on a large textile is a particular highlight in the museum's collection (I. 1/81, dated 1846). It is a ceiling painting that decorated the house of a prominent family in Iran in the 19th century. In excellent condition and with high quality Qajar paintings, the textile was already on display in Layla Diba's groundbreaking exhibition and catalogue, Royal Persian Paintings Qajar Epoch, 1785-1925.
The three other paintings have been on display in the Lipperheidesche Kostümbibliothek in the Art Library since 1882. Recently rediscovered, they were offered to the Museum for Islamic Art as a loan for its future exhibition rooms. They contain a beautiful depiction of the Qadjar ruler Fath 'Ali Shah (died 1834) and two women, all of them typical paintings from early 19th century Iran. Two paintings are unfortunately badly damaged and not suitable for further restoration.
The curators of the museum are nevertheless enthusiastic about the opportunity to show the works, including Fath 'Ali Schah, in the new permanent exhibition from 2026. In a hall specially designed for this period with the theme "Iran in modern times", it will centrally decorate the ceiling of the room.
Sleeping Beauty awakes...
What hovers here in a challenging transport with the help of an art forwarding company on a crane into the restoration studio of the museum is a climatic box with a special treasure of the collection: For more than 30 years, the box has contained an impressive and unique ceiling painting from Qadjar Iran, dated 1846, measuring 6.80 x 2.88 m on a roll. For space reasons, the painting could not be integrated into the merged permanent exhibition in the Pergamon Museum after the closure of the Dahlem Museum. In 2026 it will finally be possible to show it again in the new permanent exhibition. An exciting moment will now be the first unrolling, as well as the forthcoming extensive investigations and conservation and restoration measures.
Special restoration of the Qadjars
c/o Museum für Islamische Kunst
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