He was born in northern Iran, near the Caspian Sea. He lived in Tehran until the age of 22. Then he went to the West to study and then to work there. He began drawing and painting at the age of 12 in Tehran. He takes private lessons where he begins by copying the European masters (J.L. David, Delacroix, Russian portraits and landscapes from the beginning of the 20th century, Degas, Rembrandt…). He left private lessons after finishing high school and entered the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Tehran. He entered four years later at the École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
Farhad Ostovani has traveled extensively in the Middle East, lived in Egypt, the United States and Italy for long periods. He then decides to settle in Paris in a workshop in Faubourg Saint-Antoine, then rue de Bagnolet where his workshop is still located. His first exhibition took place at the French Institute in Tehran. In Paris, he exhibited his mountains at the Galerie de l’Echaudé and worked with the Lambert-Rouland Gallery for almost 12 years. He exhibited at the Château de Tours, and, since 2010, works with the Thessa Herold Gallery in the Marais in Paris. On the other side of the Atlantic he exhibited his work in Los Angeles at Herbert Palmer, Louis Stern Fine Arts and at the William Turner Gallery, in Washington at Robert Brown. He has also exhibited at the Jenisch Museum and at the Arts et Lettres Gallery in Vevey, at the Rigassi Gallery in Bern, at the Morat-Institut für Kunst und Kunstwissenschaft in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, and at the Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam.
He created a large series from Bach’s Goldberg Variations over a period of 15 years. In 2008, he began working on a series of Bach cello suites at the Bogliasco Foundation in Liguria, where he returned in 2013 to finish his work.
He has published several works with writers and poets, including Jean Starobinski, Louis-René Des Forêts and many books with Yves Bonnefoy.
Farhad Ostovani and Yves Bonnefoy received the Grand Prix de Bibliophilia at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 2014 for the book “We talked between the Rooms”.