- Persian miniature
A Persian miniature is a small painting, whether a book illustration or a separate work of art intended to be kept in an album of such works. The techniques are broadly comparable to the Western and Byzantine traditions of miniatures in
illuminated manuscripts, which probably had an influence on the origins of the Persian tradition. Although there is an equally well-established Persian tradition of wall-painting, the survival rate and state of preservation of miniatures is better, and miniatures are much the best-known form of Persian painting in the West. Miniature painting became a significant Persian form in the 13th century, and the highest point in the tradition was reached in the 15th and 16th centuries. The tradition continued, under some Western influence, after this, and has many modern exponents. The Persian miniature was the dominant influence on other Islamic miniature traditions, principally the Ottoman miniaturein Turkey, and the Mughal miniature in the Indian sub-continent.
The themes of Persian miniature are mostly related to
Persian mythologyand poetry. Western artists discovered the Persian miniature around the beginning of the 20th century. Persian miniatures uses pure geometryand a vivid palette. The allure of Persian miniature painting lies in its absorbing complexities and in the surprising way it speaks to large questions about the nature of art and the perception of its masterpieces.
History of Persian miniatures
The origin of the Persian miniature is difficult to trace. The art form reached its peak mainly during the Mongol and Timurid periods (13th-16th century), and was heavily influenced by
Chinese paintings as the Mongol rulers of Persia brought with them numerous Chinese artisans to the court. [ [http://www.iranchamber.com/art/articles/history_iranian_miniature.php A brief history of Persian Miniature By Katy Kianush] ]
Ilkhanidand Timurid Mongol-Persian mythological miniatures, the mythical animals buraqand dragonwas portrayed in a style reminiscent of the Chinese qilinand Chinese dragon, reflecting the Chinese background of painters who introduced watercolor techniques to Iranand initiated several medieval schools of Persian miniature painting. In fact, many religious paintings, including a famous one portraying the Prophet Muhammad's Mirajfrom the Dome of the Rockin Jerusaleminto the heavens, displays stylistic elements of undoubtedly Chinese origins. Islamic angels are depicted as wearing the tight robes of northern Chinese style. Persian miniature paintings of the Ilkhanidand Timuridperiods, especially ones related to the Shahnamehstories, usually borrow landscape paintingtechniques from contemporary Chinese schools, developed during the Song Dynastyand Yuan Dynasty.
Prominent Persian miniaturists
Jalali Sossanabadi: Famous contemporary miniaturist
* Kamāl ud-Dīn Behzād Herawī: Leading miniaturist of the
Timuridera, and founder of the Safavidschool.
Reza Abbasi: One of the most renowned Persian painters in the Safavid era.
Hossein Behzad: Famous contemporary miniaturist
Mahmoud Farshchian: Famous contemporary miniaturist
List of Persian painters
* Grabar, Oleg - Mostly Miniatures : An Introduction to Persian Painting.
* [http://www.rezaabbasimuseum.ir/ Reza Abbasi Museum in Iran]
* [http://www.Iranianfineart.com/ Ostad Jalali Sossanabadi, Iranian Miniaturist]
* [http://www.asia.si.edu/exhibitions/online/VisualPoetry/riza1.htm Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian]
* [http://www.androphile.org/preview/Museum/Iran/indexIran.htm Iranian Hall, Riza Abbasi collection]
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