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  • Poster
    Isma'il-zadeh , Hasan, born 1922 - died 2007
  • Enlarge image


  • Place of origin:

    Tehran (made)

  • Date:

    1979 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Isma'il-zadeh , Hasan, born 1922 - died 2007 (artist)

  • 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 at the time of the Iranian Revolution in 1979. The central figure depicts Ayatollah Khomeini, an iconic figure of the Revolution.

During the 1970's in Iran there were growing calls for social, political and religious change and an end to the rule of Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran. Khomeini was a leading Shi'ia Muslim scholar who had been exiled to France for his opposition to the Shah. He attracted great support from the Iranian population and was influential in advancing the religious character of the Revolution. After his return to Iran, the country voted in favour of replacing the Shah with an Islamic Government, led by Khomeini.

This poster depicts a protest march in Tehran in which the people are being shot at by the Shah's army. The figure of Khomeini rises out of this chaos, offering his protection and providing an alternative to the Shah's rule. Central to Khomeini's legitimacy as ruler was his argument that the Revolution was a continuation of the Shi'ia cause. Shi'ite Muslims believe that after the prophet Muhammad's death in 632, his son-in-law Ali was the only rightful successor to lead the Muslim people. In this poster, Khomeini is shown in a similar fashion to popular depictions of Ali. This is reinforced through visual symbolism such as the green flag of Islam fluttering behind his head and the copy of the Qu'ran he holds in his hand.

Physical description

Poster, paper with printed design in coloured ink. In the centre of the image is the top half of Ruhollah Khomeini, he is wearing a black turban and robe. In his left hand he carries a copy of the Qur'an. In the bottom half of the image, surrounding Khomeini's are the figures of hundreds of people. The right side shows people marching in columns, some hold banners with writing and portraits on. The left hand side shows the army, they are in tanks and military vehicles and face the crowds of civilians who are being shot at, some lie dead on the ground. In the background is the Azadi Monument in Tehran and helicopters flying overhead. Behind Khomeini's head is the green flag of Islam with an inscription in Persian.

Place of Origin

Tehran (made)


1979 (made)


Isma'il-zadeh , Hasan, born 1922 - died 2007 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Paper with printed design in coloured ink

Marks and inscriptions

The Iranian Revolution lead by the great leader, Imam Khomeini
In white, bottom left corner

17 Shahrivar Shohada Square
In white, bottom centre

Hassan Islamelzadeh Zanjani
in white, bottom right

Allah Akbar
God is great
In black, centre

"And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision,"

In black top left.
Text from Qur'an (3:169), with translation in Farsi below


Length: 60.2 cm, Width: 45 cm

Descriptive line

Poster, 'Khomeini' by Hasan Isma'ilzadeh; Iran, 1979

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

Chelkowski, Peter and Dabashi, Hamid. Staging a Revolution: The Art of Persuasion in the Islamic Republic of Iran.New York: New York University Press, 1999. ISBN. 0814715974. p.82, fig.4.13


Paper; Coloured ink



Subjects depicted

Helicopters; Flags; Tanks (military vehicles); Banners; Guns; Lorries; Revolution


Islam; Politics; Propaganda

Production Type

Mass produced


Middle East Section

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