Iran Darroudi

Iran Darroudi (1936-2021) was a contemporary Iranian artist. Her art consists of surreal paintings dealing with Iranian themed imagery and strong lighting. 

She has been especially recognised by her unique choice of colours and settings, which are inspired by her internal aspirations. These aspirations reveal themselves through the artist’s brush in different ways, and her dreams and despair thereby reveal and reflect the viewer’s hopefulness and impatience.

Early Years and Education

Born in 1936, Tehran, she discovered her passion for painting at a young age. After completing her secondary school education, she travelled to France and continued her studies at the University of Fine Arts (École des Beaux-Art). To learn the secrets of successful colour mixing, she headed to the Belgian capital and attained a course in stained glass at The Imperial and Royal Academy of Brussels. Iran completed her education with a degree in the History of Art at Ecole du Louvre in Paris. 

“All I can do is paint my world as I see it. That’s why I have never taught a student. I cannot tell others to see the world like me.’’

Iran Darroudi’s ‘Brimming with Life’


Iran Darroudi’s paintings are defined as Surrealist works. She was able to combine the delicacy and romantic spirit of Persian paintings with the elements of Surrealism. 

Iran’s first solo exhibition was held in Miami, Florida in 1958 at the invitation of the Florida State Art Centre. In 1968, she made 55 minute long documentary about the 1968 Venice Biennial. She was appointed as an honorary professor at the Industrial University of Tehran, teaching art history. In 1976 she exhibited at the Mexican Museum of Art, where Spanish painter Antonio Rodríguez Luna praised her as one of the world’s four greatest painters. 

She had 60 exhibitions worldwide, and contributed to some 200 group exhibitions across Europe, Central America, Japan and of course her homeland, Iran. These were the results of more than 50 years of her work in Contemporary Art of Iran. The same activities that she carried out while rubbing shoulders with great individuals such as Andrew Marlowe, Salvador Dali, Jean Cocteau, Antonio Rodriguez, Ahmad Shamloo etc. 

Iran Darroudi’s ‘Everlasting Persian Golf’

Her artwork has been displayed at internationally recognised venues such as the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Arts, the Kerman Museum of Fine Arts, the Sa’dabad Palace, the Saheb Gharani-e Palace, Belgium’s Ixelles Museum and a number of exhibitions of Contemporary Art in New York.