Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Fath Ali Shah Qajar
He acsended to the throne of Persia when his uncle Agha Mohammad Khan was assassinated.
Fath Ali's real name was Baba Khan but he crowned as Fath Ali Shah. He became suspicious of his chancellor Hajj Ebrahim Khan Kalantar and ordered his execution. Kalantar had been chancellor to Zand and Qajar rulers for some 15 Years.
Much of his reign was marked by the resurgence - 'Bazgasht' of Persian arts and painting, as well as a deeply elaborate court culture with extremely rigid etiquette. In particular, portraiture and large scale oil painting during his reign reached a height unknown in under any other Islamic dynasty, largely due to his personal patronage.
Fath Ali Shah also ordered the making of much royal regalia,including a coronation chair which was also used by later kings, and the 'Taj-e-Kayani', or Kayanid Crown, a modification of the crown of the same name invented by his uncle. This, like most of his regalia, was studded by innumerable pearls and gems. His Crown Jewels were valued at the time at a minimum of fifteen million pounds.
Fath Ali later employed writers and painters to make a book about his wars with Russia, inspired by the Shahnama of Ferdowsi. This book, considered by many to be the most important Persian book written in the Qajar period, is called the Shahanshahnama.
Fath Ali Shah had 158 wives, and 260 children. He is instantly recognisable in all 25 known portraits - mainly due to his immense, deeply black beard, which reached well beneath his waist.
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