Mahmoud Farshchian

Born January 24, 1930, Farshchian is a master of Persian painting. He was born in the city of Isfahan in Iran, a place famed for its art and artists, and it was here where he started to learn art, painting and sculpting.

Master Mahmoud Farshchian was born in the city of Isfahan on January 24, 1930. His father, a rug merchant, was an art aficionado who instilled a love for the arts in his son. Young Mahmoud showed an interest in arts quite early in life and studied under the tutelage of Haji Mirza-Agha Emami and Isa Bahadori for several years. After receiving his diploma from Isfahan's high school for the fine arts, Farshchian left for Europe, where he studied the works of the great Western masters of Painting. Consequently, he developed an innovative artistic style with universal appeal.

Upon his return to Iran, he began to work at the National Institute of Fine Arts (which later became the Ministry of Art and Culture) and, in time, was appointed director of the Department of National Arts and professor at the university of Tehran's School of Fine Arts. All the while, word of his exemplary works spread far and wide beyond national borders. He has been exhibited in 57 individual shows and 86 group shows in Iran, Europe, America and Asian countries. His works are represented in several museums and major collections worldwide. He has been awarded more than ten prizes by various art institutes and cultural centers. He has a doctorate (grade 1 in arts) in Iranian painting from the High Council of Culture and Art.

Farshchian's masterpieces have been hosted by numerous museums and exhibitions worldwide.

Farshchian is the founder of his own school in Iranian Painting, which adheres to classical form while making use of new techniques to broaden the scope of Iranian painting. He has brought new life to this art form and has freed it from the symbiotic relationship it has historically had with poetry and literature, to give it an independence it had not previously enjoyed. His powerful and innovative paintings are dynamic, expansive and vibrant canvases with an appealing fusion of the traditional and the modern, which are constituents of his unique style of painting.

Master Farshchian has played a decisive role in introducing Iranian art to the international art scene. He has been invited to speak and exhibit at numerous universities and art institutes. There have been six books and countless articles published about Farshchian's works. In 2007 British-Omani designer Amr Ali used Farschian's painting The Fifth Day of Creation as the main influence for his collection presented at London Fashion Week.

Exhibitions & Awards

A Partial Listing

Mahmoud Farshchian participated in eighty-three (83) group and fifty-four (54) one-man exhibitions from 1948 to 1994, achieving worldwide acclaim for his outstanding artistic accomplishments. His paintings were exhibited internationally. Here are a few listed below:

Algiers; Florence; Munich; Salt Lake City; Beijing; Karachi; New York; Shanghai; Chicago; Kiev; Paris; Tehran; Istanbul; Lahore; Rawalpindi; Vienna; Esfahan; Milan; Rome; and Washington D.C

Solo Exhibitions

1984 - Foxworth Gallery, New York
1981 - Museum of Contemporary Arts, Tehran
1978 - Fine Arts Miniature Gallery, Tehran
1976 - Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago
1976 - University of Utah, Salt Lake City
1976,1970 - The Middle East Institute, Washington, D.C.
1976,1970 - Rima Gallery, New York
1975,1972 - Iran-America Society, Tehran
1974,1966 - Iran Bastan Museum, Tehran
1973 - Lahore Museum, Lahore
1973 - National Council of Art, Karachi
1973 - Art Institute, Rawalpindi
1972 - Cyrus Gallery, Paris
1968 - Fine Arts Museum, Algiers
1965,1964 - Tehran University, Tehran
1964 - The Hall of Culture, Tehran
1963 - Europa Fine Arts Gallery, Vienna
1963,1959 - Kunst Muller Gallery, Munich
1962 - Palazzo Barberini, Rome
1962 - Lyrical Galleria, Milan
1960 - Golestan Palace Museum, Tehran
1956 - Art Institute, Istanbul
1954 - Chehelsotoun Palace Museum, Esfahan
1949,1948 - Iran-British Cultural Institute, Esfahan


2001 - GODIVA Chocolates 75th Anniversary, USA
2001 - Who's Who in the 21st Century, Cambridge, England
2000 - Outstanding intellectuals of the 21st Century, Cambridge, England
1995 - Gold Medal, Highest Honor
1987 - Golden Palm of Europe
1985 - Oscar D'Italia, gold statuette.
1984 - Vessillo Europa Delle Arte, gold statuette. Italy
1983 - Diploma Accadenu'co D'Europa, Accademia D'Europa. Italy
1983 - Diploma Maestro Di Pittura, II Seminario d'Arte Moderna. Italy
1982 - Diploma Di Merito, Universita Delle Arti. Italy
1980 - Academia Italia delle Arti e del Lavoro, gold medal.
1973 - Ministry of Culture and Art, 1st prize in art. Iran
1958 - International Art Festival, gold medal. Belgium
1952 - Military Art, gold medal. Iran


A Partial Listing

Permanent Collections

Queen Elizabeth of England
Queen Juliana of Netherlands
Prince Agha Khan
Lyndon Johnson, former President of The United States
Michael Jackson, American musician, "King of Pop"
General Ernesto Geisel, former- President of Brazil
Crown Prince Akihito of Japan
Giuseppe Saragat, former President of Italy
Lal Bahadur Shastri, former Prime Minister of India
Senator William Fullbright
Professor Arthur A. Pope
Professor Dr. Hossin Sadeghi, Switzerland
Ghassan Shaker
National Art Museum, Iran
Museum of Modern Art, Iran
Art Museum of Istanbul, Turkey
The Lahore Museum, Pakistan
Madison Corporation of Washington, D.C.
Bob Guccione, New York
Bohrer Collection, New Jersey
Panes Collection, New Jersey


Prince Phillip of England
Giscard D'Estang, former President of France
Ramzi Sanbar, New York
Marshall Quen, Washington, D.C.
Furnishing Systems Inc., New York
Hilton Hotel, Tehran
Center for Culture and Art, Tehran
Turkish Foreign Ministry, Ankara
Line & Tone Co., New York

Master Mahmoud Farshchian received the prestigious Accademia Italia delle Arti e del Lavoro Academy Card in 1981, granting him access and participation in all projects at the associative level along with free admission to public and private institutions, museums, and art galleries worldwide.


"Your extraordinary virtuosity conjures up so many moods, forms, and legends known from classical Persian painting. Your mastery of brush and pigment, as well as your intense devotion to a vital tradition, rewards those who travel through the world of your miniatures and drawings. For a foreigner such as myself, who has been addicted to Persian painting for most of his life (a slightly longer one than yours), it is exciting to recognize many motifs and characterizations..."

Stuart Cary Welch, Curator - Harvard Univ. Art Museums, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Foff Art Museum, and Arthur M. Sackler Museum

"On account of their extraordinary draftsmanship, their wide coloristic range and innate sense of the decorative aspect, the drawings and painting of Mr. Mahmoud Farshchian are in the true tradition of the great Iranian painters."

Dr. Richard Ettinghausen, Chief Curator & Director - Freer Gallery and The Metropolitan Museum of Art

"It is a pleasure to show the imaginative creations of Mr Farshchian, who surely, must be considered among the most talented contemporary artists."

Daniel M. MacMaster, President - Museum of Science and Industry

"Opening an art book of Mahmoud Farshchian is like leaping into the heart of a magical realm. A happy blend of the real and imaginary at once sets the tone for everything, thanks to an alchemy whose secret formula he seems to be one of the few to possess. People, nature, animals and objects are present; we recognize them for what they are, but at the same time we begin to see them differently. We do not see them in a dream, but touch them with a different way of looking. This is what makes Mahmoud Farshchian unique and exceptional. That is how it is. This is another stroke of the master's skill."

Federico Mayor, Director General - UNESCO

"I am always amazed at the beautiful draftsmanship and the skill displayed in the paintings by Farshchian."

Harold P. Stern, Director - Smithsonian Institute