Tahirih was known for her courageous leadership and she had been placed under house arrest in Baghdad, Qazvin and Tehran but wherever she was confined her outspoken views and clear insight into the traditions of Islamic theology and literary sciences, attracted women admirers and visitors from all walks of society. Her stay at the governor’s residence in Tehran marked the pinnacle of Tahirih’s popularity, as dignitaries, woman admirers, and ladies of aristocracy, including princesses, thronged to meet her, eager to learn the dynamic principles of the new Dispensation heralded by the Bab. Whatever their rank or class all who entered her presence humbly bowed before her,  but the city was under civil unrest after the attempted assassination of Nasiri’d -Din Shah and she became a target of the powerful religious clerics.


In August 1852, Tahirih retired to her chambers and after a day of prayer and fasting changed into a white silk wedding dress she had saved for the occasion. Just  a few hours after sunset, she was  escorted by a contingency of armed guards on horseback to the Garden of Ilkhani next to the Russian legation, just outside the city walls.   There she was strangled with her own veil by the intoxicated farashes of Aziz Khan-i-Sardar under direct orders from the religious authorities.  Before her martyrdom she is reported to have declared “You can kill me as soon as you like, but you cannot stop the emancipation of women!” Future generations will venerate the events of her life and celebrate the unique service which this great heroine has rendered to all mankind and in time her name will be enjoined with those of Sarah, Asiyih, The Virgin Mary and Fatima.


In this painting we see Tahirih being strangled with her own veil as the farashes, intoxicated with wine and  absorbed with acts of debauchery, look on. In the distance we see the distinctive spiral columns of the Masjid Shah minarets. The owl in the tree represents the afterlife while the first sickle of the new moon is symbolic of spiritual rebirth.

After her martyrdom, Kalantar’s son, with the help of a gardener, concealed Tahirih’s body in a well that had recently been dug but had been left unfinished. The horse which Tahirih rode is seen grazing in the garden and the freshly dug well can be seen in the background.



This limited edition giclèe print measuring 18” x 18” on acid-free museum quality paper, numbered and signed by the artist is available for $75. This includes free shipping & handling worldwide.



A print on canvas of this original painting of “Martyrdom of Tahirih” measuring 20” x 16” stretched, hand embellished, repainted to perfection and varnished  by the artist ready for display with all the appearance of the original oil painting is available for $900. (Please allow a one month turnaround for the oil paint and varnish to dry with this order.) This includes free shipping & handling worldwide.



To discuss this painting, arrange an individual payment plan or make an offer for this original work of art please contact the artist directly at info@ivanlloyd.com.

  Martyrdom of Tahirih

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