Bhzad was born in Tehran, Iran in 1894. His father, Mirza Fazlollah Esfahani, was a pen-holder designer. He married Azizeh Khanoom in 1921, who gave birth to their only child, Parviz.
In 1934, he left Tehran for Paris and stayed for thirteen months. During his stay in Paris, he studied various Eastern and Western painting styles at the Louvre, Guimet museum and Palace of Versailles. It was during this trip that he developed a completely new style of miniature painting, combining aspects of traditional Persian painting with contemporary western style.
He became internationally recognized and won many awards including the Iran's "first class medal of the ministry of culture" in 1949, and the "first class medal of international painting" from Minneapolis, USA in 1958. In 1968, Behzad received the honorary professorship by the College of Decorative Arts in Tehran.
Behzad's works have been exhibited all over the world. During the millennium celebration of Avicenna in 1953, he held an exhibition at the "Iran Bastan" Museum, which was well received by Iranian and international visitors as well. Some of the paintings on display, like "Ferdowsi" and "Madaen Arch", had been taking ten years to complete. This exhibition became particularly important to scholars of oriental studies.
Some few years later, Behzad held an exhibition, which was sponsored by the French government, at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, which was sponsored by the French government and was inaugurated by the French minister for culture on May 18, 1955.
In 1956, fifty of Behzad miniatures were put on display in the Library of Congress, Washington DC. As Behzad became a living master, he held exhibitions across the world including London, Prague, New York, Boston and Brussels, as well as in India and Japan.
By 1968 Behzad had become ill and was sent twice to Europe by the Ministry of Culture. Despite this, Behzad died on October 13, 1968 at the age of 74. He was buried at the cemetery near Imamzadeh Abdollah in Shahr-e Ray.
In his honor, the Behzad Museum was founded in 1994, and is located in Karbasi Palace in Tehran's Sa'dabad Complex and holds a large collection of his works.