Coffeehouse painting is an Iranian type of oil painting. Story tellers have an important role to describe these artistic crafts; they usually narrate martial, religious and convivial tales related to the paintings. Coffeehouse painting reached its climax at the end of Qajar times, simultaneously when the constitutional revolution was about to take place in Iran. The beginning of this art goes back to story reading, elegizing and taziah-khani in Iran that has a long history before coffeehouses and teahouses came to be known. This kind of painting was a novel phenomenon in the history of Iran’s painting; it is a combination of the religious and country values that manifests the myrmidons epics, the altruism of the religious leaders, the twelve imams as well as the national heroic athletes in Iran. Many of these paintings manifest Ashura and the stories of Shhnameh.

When the constitutional revolution took place, a great awareness in the public thoughts was released and the number of people who were looking for freedom increased a lot. Once this folk art was revived, the epic stories, religious and national wars for freedom became a means to make people aware and push their feelings to combat with others. At this time coffeehouse painters drew such drawings and then this art became common in the society. The eulogists as well as the narrators read stories with the help of these paintings in the hussainiyas, tekyehs and the coffeehouses that had a huge role in keeping these events alive.

Hossein Qollar-Aqasi was a well-known coffeehouse painter who is a top head in the epic paintings. Muhammad Modabber is also a big person in the religious paintings. Substantial examples of these artists are conserved in Reza Abbasi Museum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A sample of a Coffeehouse Painting

 

A sample of a Coffeehouse Painting