Every heavenly art is a traditional art, but every traditional art is not necessarily a heavenly art. Heavenly art is embedded in the heart of the traditional art and deals straightly with revelations and those divine manifestations which form the kernel of the tradition. (Nasr; Art and Spirituality – 2011)
Persian Miniature is the glowing golden page of the glorious history of the Iranian culture and civilization during the Islamic era. This art demonstrate the depth of thinking and innovative power and literal subtleties of Persian literature. The outstanding and eternal accomplishments of the Persian Miniature masters have least been exposed to the public in comparison to those of the Persian architecture and the other cultural features and creations of the civilization of the Iranian people and have thus been unnoticed and hidden like a treasure; the works of great artists such as Farhad, Khaja Qiasoddin, Kamaloddin Behzad, Sultan Mohammad, AqaMirak, Mir Mosawer, Heidar Ali and Reza Abbasi are the examples that shine on the vertex of the arts and culture of Iran during the Islamic period. (Smi Azar; The Masterpieces of the Persian Miniature – 2005).
Of the very art values remained from the Iranian art creator, the miniature and painting are amongst the most appreciated art works; the unparalleled miniatures during the dynasty which has no equal both before and after this period, is only a small part of the thriving authentic Iranian art.
The efforts undergone by Iranian artist have long been focused on creating an ideal model. The artist rather had a tendency to illustrate his own ideal world of images and desire. Even if he turned towards the world around him, he would not have noticed to imitate the three dimensional space. Light and shadow and form and color of the objects around him, he could exhibit anything with the help of the simplest lines and the purest colors in a way it looked quite convincing. (Pakbaz; The Iranian Artist – 2006).
The Iranian Miniaturist realized that as far as he avoided simulation and would move towards abstraction is a sort of simplification in order to reach a more refined and profound meaning with which the artist could create new images that had no real physical equal in the nature. The artistic understanding in Persian Miniature is based on the world of fantasy (rather than the objective world) in which hopefulness that follow is the merit sign of life and existence. Therefore, every detail of the work has been used from the most beautiful angle and the most appropriate size with complete harmony. (Tavoosi; Miniature -2010).
Flower and bush and flower and bird have been used by artists of Iran and the world more than other elements. In the works of Persian Miniatures the natures has always been depicted in the form of Flower and Bush.
By looking at the nature and the surrounding environment the Persian Miniaturist has drown different forms of bird and bush with his own interest and style as he drew the clouds and stones. The variety of bushes and flowers in Persian Painting can be as abundant variety as them in the nature.
In drawing trees, flowers and bushes two things are of the most importance: first the way leaves are arranged next to each other without any disarray with a beautiful combination. Second: the place of a work to create of space structure.
The craft of Lac, or as it is sometimes called Lac and Oil, has been brilliantly and by Iranian masters in the Islamic era. This craft, like many other art, crafts and industries has its root iin the ancient times.
The Qajar dynasty began to rule Iran since 1780. The cultural achievement of their rein reached its peak in the beginning of 19th century and they especially supported a kind of art which was popular among Qajar families and some rich residents. The term “Qajar” during this period was mostly related to and associated with Sublac, Painted Enamel and Oil Painting, although these types of skills were practiced and followed before Qajar dynasty. Of the above mentioned three arts, probably oil painting was under foreign influences more than the other two, to the extent that we can say oil painting was not known to the oriental artist until 17th century. In this period the extend of the subjects included more traditional tendencies which substituted miniature painting therefore the most popular scenes related to the literature and Farsi Stories still exist even though in its least volume.
Although we may rarely know that a particular painting is related to which rooms or spaces, it is easily discernable that subjects according to their primary intention belong to different rooms. For example, larger or more official portraits were intended for larger rooms or spaces which belong to courtiers while the painting of young women meant for more private rooms of a palace, or the best place to hang the scenes about hunting was the dwelling places or hunting huts outside the Centre of the capital.
In all these instances the shapes and the size of the painting was identified in the nature and place of which it was designed for. That is cause most of these paintings were placed on the top parts on the wall which had an arch shape and this caused the paintings to be placed rightly in niches and recesses which are the constant elements used in Islamic architecture. (Falk: baharlu - 2014)
Within the first five centuries (from the emergence of Islam) the art of illumination developed and began to evolve and prior to Mongols raid on Iran reached a point where the remaining art works from that period are among the best examples. Illumination was used to decorate codices, especially the Quran and the part that illumination played in the whole society at that time was used extensively.
The invaluable and authentic art of illumination is dealt with the exquisite threads of the soul. The entire artist’s endeavor in this field is to illuminate color and harmonize form in the realm of imagination. In fact, the artist splashes color in unnamed patterns miraculously to avoid going across from reality while creating and animating artistic images. Furthermore such an art is the philosopher’s stone and its creator is an alchemist who varnishes the most beautiful display of colors with rhythmic lines. In fact, searching through unnamed patterns, the artist explores the depth of the color and at any direction that the observer looks and in any combination of design and shape and color he expects to see a miracle. He looks for this miracle in the rhythm of transparent colors, in imagining the poetical composition and intermixture of color and shape he deeply see it and then becomes fascinated by the magic of these two elements. The beauty of a high class illumination is animated by the paint brush of the artist, moves and appears in front of the observer’s eyes, and develops and penetrates into the deepest part of his subconscious. (Takestani: The Method of Illumination – 1993)