Coffee-House Painting - Rustam and Sohrab

Qajar Era, Iran
Style: Coffee-House
Artist: Hossein Gholer Aghasi
Sources: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5]

Coffee-House Painting is a form of Narrative Painting and Painting Recitation which originated in Iran during late Qajar era. The themes of such paintings are usually epic or religious. Comparing to European style painting, this style lacks sophistication in the development of its figures.
Here, the painting depicts the tragedy of the legendary Persian hero named Rustam and his son Sohrab, which is taken from Ferdowsi's book, Shahnameh.

Rostam is a Persian hero and one of the favorites of King Kaykaus. Once, following the traces of his lost horse, he enters the kingdom of Samangan where he becomes the guest of the king during the search for his horse. There Rostam meets princess Tahmina and marries her. However, he soon leaves the kingdom never to come bachim Sohrab. Rostam and Sohrab never meet until a new war between Iran and Turan started many years later. By then Sohrab has become known as the best fighter of Turan army.As no one else dares to fight Rostam, Sohrab is sent to wrestle with the legendary Persian hero. However, the name of the hero is kept hidden from him, as Sohrab knows that Rostam was his father. On the battlefield, Sohrab tells his rival that he would not be prepared to fight against Rostam, but does not explain why. Rostam does not reveal his name.After a very long and heavy bout of wrestling, Rostam feels weak and, fearing for his reputation, he stabs his son in the heart. Tahmina, who comes to the field to save them from bloodshed, arrives too late and finds Sohrab lying dead in his mourning father's arms. -Wikipedia

To learn more about Coffee-House paintings, study Narrative Painting and Painting Recitation in Qajar Iran by Peter Chelkowski.