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Antione Sevruguin 
Group Prayer in the Courtyard of a Mosque 
Glass negative 
17.8 x 12.8 cm 
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives 
Myron Bement Smith Collection: Antoin Sevruguin Photographs. Gift of Katherine Dennis Smith, 1973-1985, Local number: FSA A.4 2.12.GN.53.01 
Title and Summary notes are provided by Shabnam Rahimi-Golkhandan, FSg research specialist.
Antoin Sevruguin is one of the early pioneers of commercial photography in Iran. He arrived in Iran from Tbilisi, Georgia in the mid 1870s to set up shop in Ala al-Dawla street in Tehran. From the early days, Sevruguin's studio was trusted both by the Qajar court and by foreign visitors to Iran. Highly regarded for their artistic ingenuity outside Iran, Sevruguin's photographs of 'ethnic types,' architecture and landscape, and depictions of daily life of Tehran found their way into foreign travelogues, magazines and books. As such, he stands alone in a relatively large group of early Iranian photographers for being recognized and celebrated outside the boundaries of the country. Antoin Sevruguin passed away in 1933, although his family studio continued for some time as a commercial enterprise.
"Group prayer in the courtyard of a mosque. Another image that looks very similar in orientation and composition to this one is reproduced in Zayn al-`Abidin Maraghah'i's Zustašnde im heutigen Persien wie sie das reisebuch Ibrahim begs enthušllt. The image reproduced in the reference book is in reference to prayers in the city of Maratha. As such this image could be of the same city. It is however quite possible that the image in the book is just a representation of the Friday prayers and not particular to the city. In Ghasem Safi's book, another very similar image is identified as Friday prayers in Muayyir al-Dawla's mosque. A close comparison of the structure in the image and the plans of the mosque make this identification improbable. The mosque, however, in another very similar image in the same book is identified as Friday Mosque of Tehran." [Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives, Curatorial Research Assistant] 

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