Although indelibly illustrious, the millennia-long tale of Iran is, by and large, a sad one. Ravaged by invaders who threatened to put paid to its rich and ancient cultural heritage, razed to the ground by bloodthirsty warlords, perennially betrayed by its own children, and far too often the victim of foreign ploys, the ‘land of the noble’ has been to hell and back again, and then some. The 19th Century was one of the darkest periods in Iran’s recent history. Ruled by sybaritic autocrats who sold Iran for a pittance to foreigners, and plagued by poverty, disease, ignorance, and an overall state of decrepitude and decay, Iran wasn’t exactly the place to be. Yet, as grim as the picture painted by travellers was, whether by Iranians or European diplomats, that depicted by the artists of the Qajar courts was truly a sight to behold. Sumptuous, iconic, and wholly novel, their artworks nearly have the potential to redeem the Qajars. What Iran’s dazzling art tells us about its civilisation It's an interesting article on art during the Qajar dynasty.