Only fifteen portraits are known : eight men including one European and seven women. Several of these surviving figures have similarities in facial features, dress or background. Two or perhaps three pairs are identified among these fifteen works. Several artists have probably operated but it should not be excluded that some paintings were copies in period.
A non-Muslim origin in the Armenian community of Isfahan is proposed, either by Armenian artists or by European artists staying in their community. The Armenians were in regular contact with the Europeans for exporting the silk and also served as their interpreters in the Persian court.
Although most clothing details are Safavid, some foreign elements appear. The beauty of the art and the richness of the clothes suggests that they were made on commission for the wealthy aristocracy.
On October 25 in London, Sotheby's separates a pair of oils on canvas forming pendants 162 x 83 cm each with a same decoration in reverse composition one another. The man is at lot 115 and the woman at lot 116. Each lot is estimated £ 850K.
The woman wears on her belt a large medal decorated with a crowned figure which has not yet been identified but may become a starting thread to the history of this group of paintings.