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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 1990's and depicts Ali, the son in law of the Prophet Muhammad. The majority of Iran’s population are Shi'ia Muslims, for whom Ali is an important figure. The years following Muhammad's death were marked with rival claims to power. Ali's followers believed that the leader of the Muslim people should be from within Muhammad's family. Others disagreed and this resulted in an eventual split between the Sunni and Shi'ite sects.

Posters like this are designed to affirm the Shi'ite faith and are commonly displayed in Iranian homes, workplaces and religious buildings. In this example Ali is depicted with symbols of his authority: he is shown holding the double pointed sword or zul fiqr, said to have been given to Ali by Muhammad and at his feet is a lion; symbolising his given name Asadullah, meaning 'Lion of God'.

Physical description

Poster, paper printed with coloured inks. The scene shows Ali sitting on a rock with a lion at his feet. Ali is wearing a green head covering and a brown robe; with both hands he is holding a zulfiqar (double pointed sword) across his lap. The lion is lying down, side on with his head turned towards the viewer. Behind them is a green landscape with palm trees leading to a rocky outcrop in the distance. Above Ali's head is an inscription in Persian. The scene is surrounded by an ornate gold and black patterned border.

Place of Origin

Iran (made)


ca. 1990 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Paper with printed design in coloured ink


Length: 50 cm, Width: 35.2 cm

Descriptive line

Poster, paper printed with coloured inks, Ali sitting on a rock, holding a double-pointed sword with a lion at his feet, Iran, ca. 1990.


Paper; Coloured ink



Subjects depicted

Palm trees; Swords; Lion (animal)



Production Type

Mass produced


Middle East Section

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