Mirza Kadym Iravani

Mirza Kadym Iravani (1826–1875) is considered the founder of Azerbaijani easel painting. He carried out part of the restoration works in the Iravan Khan Palace. Born in Iravan, Mirza Kadym graduated from the progymnasium in Tbilisi at the age of 15. Having studied Persian, Russian and French perfectly, Mirza Kadym worked as a telegrapher in the post office until the end of his life after returning to Iravan. According to the information provided, Mirza Kadym’s father, Muhammad Huseyn, was a famous shabaka master. Mirza Kadym’s inclination towards painting appeared when he was studying at the progymnasium in Tbilisi. At first, Mirza Kadym painted pictures on glass and fabric, later he became famous as a master of portraits and ornamental compositions. Mirza Kadym Iravani, who was a college assessor (the civil title given to persons who were noble by birth in the 19th century – N.M.), had a rich library of works by Western European, Eastern and Russian writers.

Restoration of portraits and ornamental compositions in the Hall of Mirrors of the Iravan Khan Palace was entrusted to Mirza Kadym. He restored most of the murals in the Hall of Mirrors. It seems that in 1867–1874, Mirza Kadym carried out many restoration works in the Khan’s palace. Portraits of “Fateli Shah”, “Iravan Sardar”, “Hasan Khan”, “Rustam Zal” painted by the artist with oil paints are currently kept in the State Art Museum of Georgia in Tbilisi, and the portrait of “Abbas Mirza” is kept in the State Art Museum of Azerbaijan.