Iranian Illustrator Juxtaposes Omar Khayyam & Fyodor Dostoevsky in Painting

An Iranian illustrator has put on display a painting featuring Iranian poet and philosopher Omar Khayyam and prominent Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky as a medium to show the cultural interaction of Iran and Russia.

The works by Mahshid Darabi are on display on the sidelines of the Iranian book and literature stall at Moscow International Book Fair.

Darabi, who has illustrated several Iranian books, is presenting her work as part of a training workshop at the Iran stall.

“There is exceptional interest in Iranian poet and philosopher Omar Khayyam in Russia and the great Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky is also loved in Iran,” she said.

“I tried to create an imaginary space with the aim of cultural interaction between the two neighboring countries. For this purpose, I painted each of these individuals while they are reading each others’ books.”

She explained that, in her work, Khayyam is reading the Brothers Karamazov and Dostoevsky is reading a translation of the Iranian poet’s Rubaiyat in Russian.

Darabi added that they are placed against a background of Iranian and Russian architecture as well as ships passing between the two countries in the Caspian Sea.

Also in the foreground, Darabi has painted herself doing the painting and a woman, wearing Russian traditional clothes, serving tea to the guests.

Darabi has an M.A. in illustration from Tehran University of Art and frequently uses acrylic techniques for her paintings.

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