King’s camera erotica

Naser al-Din Shah and his collaborators inside the royal harem

  • Pedram Khosronejad
Keywords: Qajar photography, harem photography, erotic photography, Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, Qajar Iran


In this article, for the first time in the history of Qajar photography, photographs of Naser al-Din Shah’s royal harem from 1858–78 and 1885–96 (many taken by the king himself) are used not only for data gathering and visual analysis, but also to trace possible visual systems created by the king and his collaborators. Recognizing the photographs of Naser al-Din Shah’s royal harem as material culture is a way to address many blind spots in the field, and suggests that any methodological use of them requires a complex and subtle approach.