ḤOSAYNIYA-YE MOŠIR, a ḥosayniya (q.v.) building located near the Bahārband-e Mošir in the Sang-e Siāh quarter of Shiraz, which is famous in particular for its exquisite tile paintings. It was built as an act of piety by Ḥāji Mirzā Abu’l-Ḥasan Khan Mošir-al-Molk-e Ṯāni (1226-1307/1811 or 1812-89), a wealthy Qajar dignitary, who served as the vizier of Fārs for thirty years. He financed the building of a number of religious institutions in Shiraz, including, in addition to this ḥosayniya (1290-93/1873-76), a magnificent mosque (1264-74/1848-57) named after him (Bāmdād, Rejāl I, pp. 39 ff.). The ḥosayniya building was originally attached to Mošir-al-Molk-e Ṯāni’s house and garden, but they have not survived. His sole heir, his daughter Solṭān Ḥājia, had his ḥosayniya transformed into a school (dabirestān) in 1306 Š./1927 (see Homāyuni, p. 14). This building, which boasts some of the finest examples of Qajar tile paintings (kāši-kāri), stonework (ḥajjāri), and building with stone, eventually attracted the attention of the Fine Arts Department and became listed as a national monument in 1351 Š./1972, after which it underwent restoration. Passion plays were performed there during the international symposium on taʿzia held at Shiraz in August 1976 (see photographs of the event in Chelkowski, pp. 103, 105, 109).

The most famous painting in the Ḥosayniya-ye Mošir is the panel of kāši-kāri on the pediment built on the north side, above the šāh-nešin (seat of honor) overlooking the courtyard where taʿzias and other related rituals were performed. This masterpiece by the artist Āqā Mirzā Bozorg represents scenes from the drama at Karbalā on eight cartouches in two registers. These latter are separated by a frieze, containing a poem about Ḥosayn and Karbalā in fine nastaʿliq calligraphy by Weṣāl-e Širāzi (1193-1262/1779-1846). The centerpiece of the upper register depicts the Day of Judgement. Color photographs of this panel, together with other paintings, architectural details, and inscriptions at the Ḥosayniya-ye Mošir have been reproduced by Homāyuni (1355 Š. [2535]/1976; see also Masʿud-Anṣāri, p. 254; Chelkowski, p. 107 ff.; Fontana, p. 53 and fig. 58). The tile paintings compare favorably in quality with those found in the Emām-zāda Šāh Zayd at Isfahan (late Qajar period, as identified by Chelkowski, p. 104, photos, pp. 100 ff.) as well as those in the Takia Moʿāwen-al-Molk in Kermānšāh (see Peterson).



P. J. Chelkowski, “Narrative Painting and Painting Recitation in Qajar Iran,” Muqarnas 6, 1989, pp. 99-111.

M. V. Fontana, Iconografia dell Ahl al-Bayt. Immagini di arte persiana dal XII al XX secolo, Supp. no. 78 to AIUON 54/1, 1994.

Ṣ. Homāyuni, Ḥosayniya-ye Mošir, Tehran, 1976.

F. Masʿud-Anṣāri, “Die Malerei zur Zeit der Qadjaren-Dynastie (1706-1925) im Iran,” unpublished Ph.D. diss., Universität Tübingen, 1986.

S. P. Peterson, “Painted Tiles at the Takieh Muʿavin al-Mulk (Kermanshah),” Supp. no. 6, AMI 1979, pp. 618-28.

Idem, “The Taʿziyeh and Related Arts,” in P. J. Chelkowski, ed., Taʿziyeh: Ritual and Drama inIran, New York, 1979, pp. 64-87, pp. 76 ff.

(Jean Calmard)

Originally Published: December 15, 2004

Last Updated: March 23, 2012

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