Behjat Sadr

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Behjat Sadr also known as Behjat Sadr Mahallāti (Persian: بهجت صدر‎‎, 29 May 1924 - 11 August 2009) was an Iranian modern art painter whose works have been exhibited in major cities across the world, such as New York, Paris, and Rome.[1] Sadr is known for her paintings that utilizing a palette knife on canvases to create impressionistic paintings featuring visual rhythm, movement and geometric shapes.


Behjat Sadr Mahallāti was born to Mohammad Sadr-e Mahallāti and Qamar Amini Sadr in Arak, Iran on 29 May 1924.[1] Sadr began her studies at the University of Tehran faculty of fine arts. After her graduation, she won a scholarship to the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome at the Naples Academy of Fine Arts.[clarification needed]

Sadr's first major exhibition was at the twenty-eighth Venice Biennial in 1956. In 1957, Sadr returned to the University of Tehran as a member of faculty and taught there for almost 20 years.[2] There she met and married her second husband Morteza Hannaneh (a well known Iranian musician and composer) and had her only daughter, Kakuti (Mitra).[1]

In 1979, after the Islamic Revolution in Iran started Sadr and her daughter moved to Paris.[2]

Sadr was diagnosed with breast cancer in the late 1990s, but continued to paint. She died at age 85 of a heart attack on 11 August 2009 in Corsica.[1][3]


Sadr was the first female contemporary painter to be considered on the same level as her male colleagues in Iran.[4]

In 2006, Sadr was the subject of a documentary film called Behjat Sadr: Time Suspended, directed by Mitra Farahani.[5] Which includes footage of the artist at work as well as extensive interviews.

Group Exhibitions[edit]

1956 – Venice Biennial, Venice, Italy[2]

1957 – Venice Biennial, Venice, Italy

1957 – Galleria Il Pincio, Rome, Italy

1962 – Venice Biennial, Venice, Italy

1962 – The 3rd Tehran Painting Biennial, Tehran, Iran

1962 – São Paulo Biennial, São Paulo, Brazil

1987 – "Iranian Contemporary Art: Four Women", Foxley Leach Gallery, Washington DC[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "SADR, BEHJAT". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Retrieved 2015-06-20. 
  2. ^ a b c "Behjat Sadr (1925 - 2009)". ArtAsiaPacific Magazine. 2009-11-01. Retrieved 2015-06-21. 
  3. ^ "Iranian painter Behjat Sadr dies at 85 in France". Mehr News. 12 August 2009. Retrieved 11 September 2009. 
  4. ^ Final Week of Pioneers of Iranian Modern Art Persian Journal, (22 August 2004)
  5. ^ "Docunight #16: Going Up the Stairs & Behjat Sadr". Roxie Theatre. Retrieved 2015-06-21. 

External links[edit]