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  • Place of origin:

    Iran (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 2000 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Paper with printed design in coloured ink

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr Patricia L. Baker

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

In Iran, religious posters are commonly displayed in homes, workplaces and religious buildings. This poster depicts the female members of Imam Husayn's family mourning his death at the Battle of Karbala in 680AD.

The majority of Iran’s population are Shi'ia Muslims. The Shi’ite sect began in the 650s, when Ali, the son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad and Husayn’s father became Caliph (leader of the Muslim people). Many supported another candidate, the Umayyad Mu'awiya, who subsequently become Caliph when Ali was murdered in 661 AD. The supporters of Ali, became known as the Shiites, which means "the followers of Ali”. Twenty years after Ali died another rival Umayyad Caliph weakened Shi’ite rule by killing Husayn, along with most of his male family and followers at Karbala in Iraq. Still today, Shi’ites mourn the death of Imam Husayn by performing rituals and remembering the Battle of Karbala in popular imagery such as this poster.

Physical description

Poster, laminated and printed in coloured ink. The central image shows six women in dark blue chadors centred around a white horse; four of the women are clinging on to the horse in despair and the other two are on the ground comforting each other. The horse has a green cloth draped over its back and an empty sword hilt attached. It has bleeding wounds on its neck and hind leg. On the ground is a discarded brown sandal, a brown saddle and three arrows. In the top right corner is the head of Husayn ibn Ali, he is shown staring out into the middle distance and surrounded by radial light. He has a black beard and is wearing a dark green head covering. The central image is surrounded by a border of white calligraphy on a green background.

Place of Origin

Iran (made)


ca. 2000 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Paper with printed design in coloured ink


Length: 17.5 cm, Width: 25.3 cm

Object history note

This image is based on an original painting by Mahmoud Farshchian (b.24.01.1930), 1976.

Descriptive line

Poster, paper printed in coloured ink, Husayn's horse and female relations after Karbala, Iran, ca. 2000.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Baker, Patricia. Islam and the Religious Arts. London: Continuum, 2004. ISBN 0826456057 p.255.
Flaskerud, Ingvild. Visualizing Belief and Piety in Iranian Shiism. London: Continnum, 2010. ISBN 9781441149077 fig.50

Production Note

The donor, Dr Patricia L. Baker bought this poster in north eastern Iran in 2000 (as referenced in her book Islam and the Religious Arts).


Paper; Coloured ink



Subjects depicted

Horse; Mourning


Islam; Death

Production Type

Mass produced


Middle East Section

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