Ali Rokhsaz, one of Kamal-ol-Molk’s pre-eminent avant-garde students, is illustrating an example of Iran’s diverse natural scenery in this distinctive artwork, a landscape that its appearance clearly betrays secrets within. Indeed, these secrets are no more than familiar territories and untouched landscapes of Iran in a sparkling, sunny season. Like Persian painters of the Shiraz School, Rokhsaz attaches greater importance to a higher horizon devoting, just as other painters of the school, a smaller share to the heavens. It is as if the worldview of the artist is reflected in his emphasis on earth, growth and similar concepts. His paintings represent the sun and untouched landscapes; a result of a process of rumination and discovery. A modernist approach is utterly evident in his portrayal of the nature.
The artist’s point of view is confined to a frame in which lush green nature is showing off. The painting seems to be completely peaceful, its author apparently taking the natural landscape directly as his model. In general, it must be noted that the artist’s decision to leave his studio and take nature as his living model was a new achievement, introduced to Iranian art through the efforts of Kamal-ol-Molk and his students. This development marked the beginning of a modern perspective on painting that was overtly influenced by Impressionism.
The art of Ali Rokhsaz is linked to the secrets embedded in the nature. A large number of his works are incredibly associated with Iran’s mountains, valleys and rivers. During a period, Rokhsaz even chose as a model colored grits and rocks chipped by the nature and waves on rivers, thus marking the beginning of an important period in his artistic career later known as the period of mosaic work.
Ali Rokhsaz, the son of Gholam Reza Rokhsaz, was a trend-setting student of Kamal-ol-Molk. His father was a leading figure in the art of enamel work in Isfahan. As a child, Ali was fascinated to see artisanship of his father. His persistence in the study of art and his father’s old friendship with Kamal-ol-Molk helped him enroll the School of Fine Arts. He skillfully mastered the principles of painting in a short time and made a considerable progress in drawing, watercolor painting and mosaic painting.
The school organized an exhibition four years after it was established, where Kamal-ol-Molk students put their works on display. Rokhsaz’s work, titled Hunters, was awarded the first prize. Sadiq Khan Mostashar-o-Doleh (a statesman of the Qajar and Pahlavi eras) purchased the painting at a good price on the same day. Rokhsaz graduated from the school with a diploma after the exhibition. His major works include Carvansaray (1926), Sa’di’s Garden (1930), The Fortuneteller (1935), Winged Bull of Persepolis (1939), Shepherd and his Wife (1975), Young Girl with Flower (1971), and Young Girl at the Door of House (1978). He also produced 12 popular oil paintings inspired by scenes and heroes of Shahnameh. Abolghassem Ferdowsi (1931), Gateway of all Nations (1939), Childhood of my Daughter, Fatima(1939), Lions Confined to the Cage (1947), The Raven (1948), Mill in Autumn (1949), Pas Qal’e Alley (1956), Sleeping Dog (1959), Mill in Spring (1971), Kamal-ol-Molk the Master (copy, 1978), and Mani the Painter (1980) are among distinctive oil paintings of this modern artist.