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  • Place of origin:

    Iran (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1990 (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

This poster was produced in Iran during the 1990s. Religious posters can be found displayed in Iranian homes, workplaces and religious buildings. This poster depicts Imam Husayn 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). The supporters of Ali became known as the Shiites, which means "the followers of Ali”. However Muhammad had not named his successor and the years following his death were marked with rival claims to power. In 680 the rival Umayyad Caliph killed Husayn, along with most of his male family and followers at the Battle of Karbala in Iraq. Shi'ites consider Husayn a martyr and mark his death every year during the month of Muharram.

In this poster Husayn is shown proudly riding out on his horse to face the rival army. In his hand he is holding the green standard of the Prophet's family. In this way the viewer is reminded of Husayn's holy lineage. Posters like this are designed to have an emotional impact on the viewer and remind Shi'ites of Husayn's martydom.

Physical description

Poster, paper printed with coloured inks. The scene shows Husayn dressed in armour and holding a green standard and a shield sitting on a grey horse riding through a river. He is wearing a helmet decorated with two feathers, chest armour over a green top, purple trousers with armoured knee caps and brown boots. On the banks of the river plants and palm trees and in the sky, behind Husayn's head is a large sunburst set against a blue sky.

Place of Origin

Iran (made)


ca. 1990 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Paper with printed design in coloured ink


Length: 50 cm, Width: 35.1 cm

Descriptive line

Poster, paper printed in coloured ink, Husayn on horseback at the Battle of Karbala, Iran, ca. 1990.


Paper; Coloured ink



Subjects depicted

Palm trees; Horse; Standards (identifying artifacts); Body armour; Helmets; Rivers



Production Type

Mass produced


Middle East Section

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