Persian Painting

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Pegah Eidipour
published on 30 September 2021
[(Persian Painting )] [Author: Sheila R. Canby] [May-2005]
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Title: [(Persian Painting )] [Author: Sheila R. Canby] [May-2005]
Author: Sheila R. Canby
Audience: General Public
Difficulty: Medium
Publisher: Interlink Books
Published: 1970

Covering the history of Persian miniature painting from the 14th to the 20th century from a general aspect, this book is an excellent source on the subject matter. A perfect combination of a thorough yet rather easy-to-read text and fine imagery, this book is highly recommended for both beginners and readers familiar with Persian painting.

Written by Sheila R. Canby, Persian Painting provides an overview of the Persian miniature painting from the 14th to the 20th century. With the general public in mind, the book is rather easy to read, and the inclusion of high quality and, in some instances, rare imagery related to the text (both in black-and-white and color) has made the context of this book much more apprehensible.

The book clearly illustrates the influences of other tribes and civilizations, such as Europe & China, on this art.

The book covers the characteristics of Persian miniature painting through the course of almost 6 centuries and is divided into 7 chapters. For a better understanding of the paintings in general, the first chapter provides the reader with an explanation of the tools and materials used for their creation; from the initial paper, color, and sketch preparation to the binding of the books to create the final masterpieces. The next 6 chapters are each dedicated to a specific timeline and follow the changes that have occurred with the subject matter, technique, material, etc. of the Persian paintings. Starting with the Mongol invasion and the Ilkhanids and ending with the Qajar dynasty, this book clearly illustrates the influences of other tribes and civilizations, such as Europe and China, on this art and how they have changed the appearance of the paintings.

The book is filled with images mostly from the British Museum and Keir Collection, and each image is accompanied by a short description which is by itself very informative. For more detailed research on the Persian paintings, the book also includes a list of sources for further reading, all of which provide great insight into the subject. Although the book itself does not get into great detail with regards to the characteristics of the different schools of painting, what sets them apart from one another, and the active artists during each period, it is definitely a great starting point for anyone wishing to begin their journey and venture into the world of Persian miniature paintings. Moreover, it contains a noticeable amount of unique information for readers already familiar with this subject matter.

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About the Reviewer

Pegah Eidipour
An inherent art and history enthusiast, Pegah received her BFA from Tehran University of Art and her MA in Art History from Academy of Art University, San Francisco. Her main focus is on Middle Eastern art, history and philosophy.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Eidipour, P. (2021, September 30). Persian Painting. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Eidipour, Pegah. "Persian Painting." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified September 30, 2021.

MLA Style

Eidipour, Pegah. "Persian Painting." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 30 Sep 2021. Web. 20 Jul 2024.