Jafar Petgar (1921-2005)
Lady in Green
Price realized : 650 Million IRREstimated :600 – 800 Million IRR
Signature: “J-Petgar 1325” in Farsi (lower left)
oil on canvas
Executed in 1946
– Azizollah Aminian, Jafar Petgar Foundation: Jafar Petgar 1921-2005.
- About Art Work
Jafar Petgar’s ability to apply color with a wide brush, his precise drawing and flawless portraits, as well his abstention from overusing too many details, are visible in this fine, highly recognizable work. (This painting has been reproduced on page 118 of his collected works.) Master Petgar knew his colors well and it was with this mastery that he chose the various hues of green, the most recognizable color to the human eye, in this work. His extraordinary drawing skills stand out in the model’s three-quarter profile, her upper body and hands. The light and shade of contrasting colors, instead of blending with one another, are set side by side or even on top of one another, and clearly show this artist’s leanings toward impressionism. This tendency can also be seen in the bold and localized splotches of color on this lady clothed in green which also attest to the artist’s skill with oil paints.
Jafar Petgar is not only considered one of Iran’s most important classical painters, he played an important role in the artistic education of many modern artists, including Hannibal Alkhas.
Petgar began his art schooling at the School of Industrial Arts in Tabriz, and eventually, with his brother Ali-Asghar, came to Tehran to increase their possibilities of training in the capital. He studied the fundamentals of painting under the master Abolhassan Sadighi at the Department of Arts and Crafts, and then went on to study with the German master Albrecht Hoenmann. At first he mastered the classical techniques, but then found himself attracted to the themes and styles of the impressionists.
Many of the paintings from his early period portray the downtrodden masses as well as the urban workers and rural farmers of Iran. In other works, while he respects the figurative tradition, his colors break the rigid classical rules and transform smooth surfaces into ones textured with dollops of oil paint, as can be seen in the painting on display here.
The majority of Jaffar Petgar’s early paintings reflect the artist’s environment. His subject matter during this era was usually the class of people the artist himself had lived with growing up: “Street-sweeper,” “Old Man Selling Eggs,” “The Artist’s Mother,” “Travelling Carpet Seller” and other such everyday people. Gradually, as he gained experience and became a master himself, he evolved his Iranian originality though composition and the portrayal of nature. In general, the most important aspects of Petgar’s later paintings were his wide bands of color and the thick, heavy use of paint, both of which are prevalent in the painting on display here.