Hossein Behzad (1894 – 1968 October 13) was an Iranian painter born in Tehran. For many years, he was a technician employee at the Administration of Archeology and a professor of miniatures at the Tehran Academy of Fine Arts. The street he lived on in Tehran was named after him (Hossein Behzad), but after the Islamic Revolution, the name of that street changed to Shahid Nofallah. According to his will, his house in Tehran has been transformed into a painting school.

Hossein Behzad, the son of Mirza Fazlollah Esfahani, a painter and penner maker, was born in Tehran in 1894. His father was famous in penner making and watercolor painting. He started his studies at Sharaf Zafar School, but after a while, he dropped out due to his interest in painting. His father sent him to Mullah Ali QalamdanSaz Esfahani to Majmaal Al-Sana’i School to learn miniature painting. After the death of his father and Mullah Ali QalamdanSaz, Behzad started education under the supervision of Hossein PeykarNegar.

After his father, Hossein continued to live with his mother, grandfather, and with his sister. After his father’s death, his mother remarried and moved to Isfahan. Hossein’s teenage years were in poverty. He was progressing in penner making when he fell seriously ill so that the possibility of his survival was considered so weak. He had to move to his mother’s house because he had no income; his grandfather had also died and after a short time he came to Tehran for treatment at the house of Fatuh al-Saltaneh who was a friend of his grandfather. He was very fond of painting, as he said in describing his interest: “A feeling of the unknown and vague drew me to paint, and when I followed this feeling, I picked up a pencil or pen and then I feel like a thirsty person who reached a clear and pleasant pond, so I quenched my thirst. The painting was my world.”

Hossein Behzad opened an independent miniature workshop at the age of 21. His work quickly gained approval from many. He was especially talented and capable of copying old miniature artworks, which were highly admired by Europeans and Iranian dealers. He especially painted the works of Kamaloddin Behzad and Reza Abbasi, some of the most famous miniaturists of the Safavid era, with mastery.

The Ferdowsi painting took two years of Behzad’s time. He also painted two paintings for the Olympiad celebration. One of them was called “Polo” and the other was “Killing the White Devil by Rostam”. Therefore, in 1953, Behzad was awarded a diploma by King Mohammad Reza. He held 17 exhibitions inside and outside of Iran and won several awards and medals.

In May 1958, the National Council approved a certain amount of salary to be paid to Hossein Behzad by the government for lifelong. Behzad’s general condition worsened in 1968 and he was sent to Europe twice for treatment by the Ministry of Culture. However, he passed away at the age of 74 in Tehran at 8:48 PM on October 13, 1968.