Nasser al-Din, Shah of Persia(1831-1896), Reigned 1848-96
Sitter in 13 portraits
Al-Din ascended to the Sun Throne in 1848 upon the death of his father, Mohammad Shah Qajar. In 1873, he was the first Iranian king to visited Europe. On the visit he became the first Persian King to be appointed a Knight of the Order of the Garter by Queen Victoria. He returned for subsequent royal visits in 1878 and in 1889. Although the Shah had a desire for a modern Iran, his style of governance was dictatorial which won little support from his people. Most reforms took place under the Prime Minister Amir Kabir who he later executed. He reigned for nearly 50 years from 1848-96 when he was assassinated by Mirza Reza Kermani, a fervent follower of the political activist Jamal al-Din al-Afghani who believed that the Shah's concessions to foreign powers, including the British Empire, could threaten the Middle East by making it vulnerable to being conquered by European imperialism in the same way that India was. The Shah, shortly before death, is reported to have said 'I will rule you differently if I survive'. He is buried at the shrine of Shah-Abdol-Azim, near Tehran where he was offering prayer when the assassination took place.
by W. & D. Downey
woodburytype carte-de-visite, 1873?
by Sir Leslie Ward
chromolithograph, published in Vanity Fair 5 July 1873