Isa Bahadori was both an exponent of traditional Iranian art and one of the pioneering artists of the last century who practiced Western painting in a realist style. This work is a magnificent representation of Iranian architecture. His choice of a view of this building, which is of the Safavid period, in Isfahan provided the artist with an opportunity to showcase his skill in application of Western perspective that had no precedent in Iranian traditional art. Bahadori who in addition to painting is skilled in illumination, marquetry, tiling, and carpet design, has greatly endeavored to represent the design of the tiles in this painting.
A simple representation of a natural landscape is seen in the background. Although realist landscape painting was not common in Iranian traditional painting, emergence of new talents as well as trends inspired by European painting at the end of the Safavid period led some Iranian landscape painters to follow suit. Such a fascination culminated in the work of a group of followers of Kamal-ol-Molk, including Isa Bahadori. Although early Iranian landscape paintings looked somewhat European, achievements of the School of Fine Arts created an indigenous, Iranian touch in these landscapes. The way that trees, clouds and skies are depicted in this work, for instance, brings to mind a familiar skyline and light that any Iranian viewer can relate to.
Although he was born in Arak and studied art at the School of Fine Arts in Tehran, Bahadori lived in Isfahan for a long time. He was appointed the Principal of School of Fine Arts he established in Isfahan. This enabled him to take landscapes as his model to create unique works that were crystalized in watercolor paintings of Jolfa artists and other classical painters. We can comprehend the significance of Isa Bahadori in art education as well as in creating artworks when we realize that great artists, including Mahmoud Farshchian and Majid Mehregan, were his pupils.
Compared to modernist visual standards, the present work may not seem to be modern. However, one must consider that works of this kind marked the transition of Iranian art from traditional painting to a Western style and later to modern art. This makes Iranian modern art indebted to the iconoclastic efforts of figures such as Isa Bahadori and works such as the present painting.