The fact that great artists, including Kamal-ol-Molk and Mossavar-ol-Mamalek, were students of Ali Akbar Mozayyan-o-Dolleh makes it easier for us to grasp the significance of this painter in the history of Iranian art. He played a central role in promoting drawing in Iran and was considered a progenitor of landscape painting in the country. As the work on sale clearly suggests, Mozayyan-o-Dolleh was absolutely skillful in drawing, especially in portraying the statesmen and celebrities of the time. Taking a look back at the history of lithography, we can see that many of these figures were portrayed for media purposes. In addition to this particular work, he left behind more portraits of the same style.
Mozayyan-o-Dolleh was skilled in both landscape and portrait painting. He was among the first who promoted a scientific approach to landscape painting in Iran. Mozayyan-o-Dolleh displayed his skill in drawing portraits that looked identical to the real subjects, while striving to reflect emotional expressions in the portrait as well. Such qualities are clearly seen in the work on display, which is a portrait of Mirza Abdolvahab Khajeh Nouri, known as Nezam-ol-Molk. He was a grandson of Mirza Nasrollah Khan Etemad-o-Doleh Nouri, the second Chief Minister of Nasser-e-Din Shah, and the son of Mirza Kazem Khan Nouri. He was appointed Defense Minister as well as Governor of Tehran, and was given the title Nezam-ol-Molk, when his father passed away. He held a variety of positions during his lifetime, including Minister of Finance and Minister of Justice as well as Governor of Fars Province. In this picture, Nezam-ol-Molk is seen as a middle-aged man with a stick in his hand and in full regalia. The present work bears strong similarity to his famous picture that shows him sitting on a chair. Interestingly, Nezam-ol-Molk wore the same fur in that picture too.