Persian miniature: description

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Persian miniature is a small,

Richly detailed painting depicting religious or mythological subjects in the region of the Middle East, now known as Iran. The art of miniature painting flourished in Persia from the 13th to the 16th century. This continues to this day, with some contemporary artists reproducing remarkable Persian miniatures. These paintings tend to have a very high level of detail.

Definition A Persian miniature is a small painting, whether it is a book illustration or a stand-alone work of art intended to be kept in an album. The techniques are generally comparable to the Western and Byzantine traditions of miniatures in illustrated manuscripts, which probably influenced the origins of Iranian painting.


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Features There are several characteristic features of Persian miniatures (photo below). The first is the size and level of detail. Many of these paintings are quite small, but they present complex scenes that can be observed for hours. The classic Persian miniature is also distinguished by the presence of gold and silver accents along with a very bright color palette. The perspective in these works of art includes elements stacked one on top of the other in such a way that those accustomed to the look and feel of.


Western art find it difficult

To perceive these designs. Development Persian miniatures were originally commissioned as illustrations for manuscripts. Only very wealthy people could afford them, and the production of some paintings lasted up to a year. Eventually, even less wealthy people began to collect these works of art in separate albums. Many of these collections, fortunately, have survived to this day, along with other examples of Persian art.


Description of Persian miniature painting

This type of painting became a significant form of Persian art in the thirteenth century, and reached its highest point of prosperity in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Further development of this tradition took place partly under the influence of Western culture. Persian miniature painting contributed significantly to the development of Islamic miniature painting. Despite the influence of other countries' art at different stages of development, Persian miniature art had its own distinctive features.

The artists of Iran are easily recognizable by their natural and realistic motifs. Also worth noting is the Persian technique of "layering" perspectives to create a sense of space. This gives the viewer a sense of three-dimensional space and the ability to focus on certain aspects of the image to the exclusion of others. Content and form are the basic elements of miniature painting, and the artists are known for their subtle use of color. The themes of these artworks are mostly related to Persian mythology and poetry. They use clean geometry and a bright palette.


  • The history of the art of painting in Iran dates back to the Stone Age. Painted images of animals and hunting scenes have been found in caves in Lorestan province. Drawings dating back about five thousand years have been discovered in Fars.

  • Images found on pottery in Lorestan and other archaeological sites show that artists in this region were familiar with the art of painting. Several murals dating from the Ashkanid period (3rd-1st century B.C.) have also been found, most of them in the northern part of the El-Furat (Euphrates) River. One of these paintings is a hunting scene.

  • The position of the horsemen and animals, as well as the style of this work, are reminiscent of Iranian miniatures. In the paintings of the Achaemenid era, the artists' work is distinguished by the incredible proportion and beauty of the colors. In some cases black stripes were used to limit the multicolored surfaces.
  • Paintings dating from AD 840-860 have been found in the Turkestan desert. These murals show traditional Iranian scenes and portraits. The earliest images related to the Islamic period are rather few; they were created in the first half of the 13th century.

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