Iranian Art and Culture Exhibition at the National Museum of Oriental Art in Rome

Iranian Art and Culture Exhibition

National Museum of Oriental Art

Via Merulana, 248, Rome.

Opening times: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday – 9am-2pm.

Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, Public Holidays – 9am-7.30pm.

Closed on Monday.

Price: Full price €6. Reduced price ticket €3.


The National Museum of Oriental Art in Rome is currently displaying an impressive exhibition on the art and culture of Iran. Held on Via Merulana, the exhibition is being shown to mark the 36th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Republic.

The exhibition displays a variety of contemporary artwork and is comprised of four sections: ceramics, miniatures paintings, calligraphy and photography. The different sections show a variety of outstanding creativity from Iran.

The ceramic works shown at the exhibition are excellent. With the origins of the ceramics dating back to ancient times, the pieces present the progress of civilisation and the Socio-economic consequences of Iran. There are beautiful vases displaying the most unusual colours of caramels, browns and greens all in one piece.
The stone works in the exhibition are also outstanding. They were discovered in the region of Lorestand from ten thousand years ago from the Parthian and Sassanid empire. Particularly after the thirteenth century, the stone pieces influenced the Byzantine tradition. The works show interesting court and hunting scenes. These were usually made in the Tabriz and Shiraz areas.

The miniature paintings are also interesting to see. There are a variety of scenes displayed from people sat in a house to paintings of mosaic designs. The delicacy of the paintings are what is so superb about the pieces with watercolours being used in many of the pieces. Rahmani shows some excellent pieces at the exhibition.

Calligraphy is something that I personally believe is so beautiful about the Persian script. Being a true form of art on paper, canvas or in ceramic work, the National Museum of Oriental Art displays some incredible calligraphy here. There are some brilliant canvases on display showing some of the most beautiful calligraphic pieces I have seen in paint. Khorasani’s work is show at its best here with his use of colour being particularly impressive. The calligraphy was painted using striking shades of gold being in contrast to more subtle green and blue backgrounds. The inspiration to some of the pieces of the exhibition was Persian poetry.  This was my favourite part of the exhibition.

The final section of the exhibition is photography, which was ever endearing. There are twenty photographs taken from the past and present of Iran with a particular focus on Tehran. The Milad Tower is shown on one wall and an older photograph of a ski piste and car park is shown on another. This was the smallest section of the exhibition but is one of the most intriguing.

The exhibition held at the National Museum of Oriental Art is definitely worth a visit simply due its diverse pieces of work. The main focus of the exhibition is Iran however, there are other sections of the museum dedicated to other areas of Oriental art, such as stone Buddha figures from Tibet and statues from the Himalayan area. There are also paintings from East Africa. With a range of other artwork on display from various artists, you get to see some impressive pieces of artwork. Being well located in Rome and at a good price, it is ideal of an afternoon visit.

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