Miniature in Khatam frame. Painting is inspired by traditional Iranian stories. Combination of two arts of painting and Khatm Kari creates this stunning tableau for beautifying your home.
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A prominent type of Iranian painting is miniature. The word miniature derived from the Latin minium, red lead, is a picture in an ancient or medieval illuminated manuscript, the simple decoration of the early codices having been miniated or delineated with that pigment.
The history of the art of painting in Iran, goes back to the cave age. In the caves of Lorestan province, painted images of animals and hunting scenes have been discovered. Paintings discovered by W. Semner, on the walls of buildings, in Mallyan heights, in Fars, belong to 5,000 years ago.
Kamāl ud-Dīn Behzād Herawī, also known as Kamal al-din Bihzad or Kamaleddin Behzad (c. 1450 – c. 1535) was a painter of Persian miniatures and head of the royal ateliers in Herat and Tabriz during the late Timurid and early Safavid periods.
During the Safavid era, the artistic center was moved to Tabriz. A few artists also settled in Qazvin. However, the Safavid School of painting was established in Isfahan. The miniature of Iran, in the Isfahan of Safavid era, was detached from the influence of the Chinese out and stepped on a new road. The painters were then more inclined towards naturalism. Agha Reza Reza-e Abbasi (also Reza Abbasi) (1565 - 1635) was the most renowned Persian miniaturist, painter and calligrapher of the Isfahan School, which flourished during the Safavid period under the patronage of Shah Abbas I. Paintings of the Qajar era, are a combination of the classic European arts and Safavid miniature techniques. In this period, Mohammad Gaffari Kamal-ul-Molk, pushed forward the European classical style of painting in Iran. Under the Qajars, a kind of painting known as the “Teahouse” painting found its place. This kind of painting is a new phenomenon in the history of the Iranian art.
Among great Iranian master we can refer to Hossein Behzad followed the style of old masters like Kamaleddin Behzad and Reza Abbassi. Behzad trained some trainees during his productive artistic life, one of the most famous is Mohammad Naseripour. Contemporary world renowned master of Persian painting and miniatures is Mahmoud Farshchian. Many museums of Asian art have Persian miniatures in their collections, and it is well worth visiting to see examples of this distinctive art form in person. Persian miniatures also merit undivided attention; the longer one looks at a Persian miniature, the more details and themes emerge. The study of a single miniature can take up an entire day, as more and more details unfold, and many museums conveniently have detailed guides to the figures and themes in their Persian miniatures so that visitors can learn more about what they are seeing.
Several features about Persian miniatures stand out. The first is the size and level of detail; many of these paintings are quite small, but they feature rich and complex scenes. Classically, a Persian miniature also features accents in gold and silver leaf, along with a very vivid array of colors. The perspective in a Persian miniature also tends to be very intriguing, with elements overlaid on each other in ways which sometimes feel awkward to people who are accustomed to the look and feel of Western art. The Persian miniature was probably inspired by Chinese art, given the very Chinese themes which appear in some early examples of Persian miniatures. Over time, however, Persian artists developed their own style and themes, and the concept of the Persian miniature was picked up by neighboring regions.
Content and form are fundamental elements of Persian miniature painting, and miniature artists are renowned for their modest, subtle use of color. The themes of Persian miniature are mostly related to Persian mythology and poetry.
Many museums of Asian art have Persian miniatures in their collections, and it is well worth visiting to see examples of this distinctive art form in person.