Mehdi Vishkaei is considered one of the pioneers of Iranian modern painting. His work is a borderline between academic painting and early modern movements. His major work includes portraits and still life paintings which, like the painting here, enjoy a diversity of colors. Application of thick patches of paint, inspired by post-impressionist artists, is the most significant quality of these works. Painting of bouquets and baskets of flower as a period in his career followed years of experimentation with portrait painting.
The present work is an example of Vishkaei’s tendency toward Fauvism. Similar to some early Iranian modern painters, Vishkaei developed a liking for the European painting of the early 20th century after he graduated in Painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts. Works of this period is strongly similar to that of French Fauvism in terms of application of paint, exaggeration of details and nimble, thick and rough brushstrokes. Feverish excitement felt in the works of this period indicate the artist’s fresh experiment with an unconventional brush, thick touches, and a colorful untidy palette. In analyzing works of Vishkaei and artists of his generation, we must not overlook the excitement generated through experimentation with modernism. This assumes special significance when we know that Vishkaei and a few avant-garde artists of his generation were born in the last few years of the Qajar rule, on the threshold of profound developments in Iran’s social and cultural structure.