Mostly Miniatures: An Introduction to Persian Painting

ISBN 10: 0691049998 / ISBN 13: 9780691049991
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The mention of Persian painting conjures up images of beautifully illuminated manuscripts filled with tiny, intricate pictures, each a miniature festival of color. Anyone who has seen Persian miniatures up close will attest to their captivating power. In this book, the renowned historian of Islamic art Oleg Grabar introduces Western audiences to Persian painting, which consists primarily of miniatures illustrating works of literature, but also includes murals and small ceramics decorated with pictures. The masterpieces of this painting have a visual richness that requires the use of the intellect as well as the eye for their appreciation, and Grabar seeks to situate the reader within their world, that of Islamic culture in Iran from the Middle Ages to Modern times. Through a series of chapters on various aspects of Persian painting, he helps us understand its history, the characteristics that define it, and the delights to be discovered in it.


Grabar argues that this genre of painting offers a remarkable example of how books are illustrated in general and of how an Iranian secular taste emerged during centuries dominated by religious art. He shows that the peculiarities of its historical background gave rise to specific characteristics: striking colors, dematerialization of space, subtle evocations of emotions, simultaneous lyricism and epic. The qualities of Persian painting created a unique aesthetic mood that is related to Persian poetry and Islamic mysticism.


It was only at the beginning of the twentieth century that the Western art world began to discover Persian painting. Inspired by its use of pure geometry and vivid palette, Matisse and Kandinsky were among the first modernists to incorporate attributes of Persian art into their work. And now, a century later, interest among museum-goers continues to increase. The allure of Persian 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. Grabar has written an incomparable book that both explains and re-creates the pleasures of this art.


About the Author: Oleg Grabar is Professor Emeritus at the School of Historical Studies. Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He was for many years Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Art at Harvard University. His most recent books include The Mediation of Ornament (Meilon Lectures) and The Shape of the Holy: Early Islamic Jerusalem (both Princeton).

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Grabar, Oleg
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Book Description Princeton University Press, 2000. Soft cover. Book Condition: Very Good. illustrated (illustrator). 0691049998 ART 040354 Solid soft cover with fairly mild wear including a couple of small dents in the front cover which have also dented the first few pages, also with light soiling on the covers and fore edges. Interior is clean and binding is good. 168pp. Bookseller Inventory # 040354

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Book Description Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good +. Consisting primarily of miniatures illustrating works of literature, but also murals and small ceramics decorated with pictures, these masterpieces have a visual richness that requires use of the intellect as well as the eye.168 pages, 76 mostly color illustrations. 29 lines have pale highlighting. Shipping may be extra; please inquire. Size: 8 1/2 x 11". Bookseller Inventory # 67003

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Book Description Princeton Univ.Press, New Haven, US, 2000. softcover-. Book Condition: New-. 168 pages - in English - 79 color plates and 10 b/w illustrations - a description of Persian painting, its history, characteristics, relation to Persian poetry and Islamic mysticism, how to enjoy it and more by distinguished Islamic art historian Oleg Grabar (1896-1990) - biblio. and index. Bookseller Inventory # 006258

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Book Description Princeton University Press, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. May not contain Access Codes or Supplements. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Bookseller Inventory # 0691049998

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