Persian miniature

Persian miniature begins with the Mongol Ilkhanid dinasty in the 13th century. First artists followed the Mesopotamian traditions with figures tied to the baseline and blank background. However, since Ilkhanids had close links to China, the effects of Chinese influence on paintings stimulated mountains and landscape details of Far Eastern origin and extremities dissolving into thin air for an ever expanding vista. But the idea of defined space reasserted itself at the end of 14th century, becoming the basic format of painting throughout Islam for the next several hundred years, as the application of the principle of universal order to the visual arts as it was also applied to poetry and music.
At the end of 14th century painting entered its finest classic phase. The classical painting deals in perfection with its style of rectangular format and fineness of detail. Associated first with the two capitals of Shiraz and then Herat, in 15th century, after the move to Isfahan in the 16th century, a real change overcame, putting the emphasis on personal handling.
If early painting were about man in his natural environment, late 16th and 17th century painting is about man himself. There is a fashion for the sensuous and erotic in the dominating large scale representations of lovers, pretty young men and voluptuous women.

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