Special Exhibition of Oriental Miniatures

Originally Published in 1930

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Miniature painting of a man with a dragon
Plate VIII — Moses
Persian Miniature by Agha Rizza
Late Sixteenth Century

THE Museum to be able lo exhibit during March an important collection of Persian and Mughal miniature paintings, through the courtesy of Messrs. Demotte, Inc. The Exhibition comprises over two hundred individual works ranging in date from the thirteenth to the eighteenth century, illustrating in an excellent manner the various phases in the development of the art and the most important schools that flourished in the Musulman world during this period. Among the early miniatures are several important series of pages taken from rare Shah Nameh manuscripts and from treatises on Natural History which show the Byzantine influence on Persian painting during the fourteenth century. These illuminations have an immediate appeal because of their vigorous drawing and adequate composition , while the calligraphy is equally crisp and distinguished. Later works, executed during the sixteenth century, when it may be said the purely Persian style had crystallized, are equally fine, and perhaps more accomplished in technique. Among these, eight from a Book of Kings, illuminated about 1540 at Tauris, are outstanding. The graceful court portraits of the seventeenth century and the pen drawings relieved by a few light tints by, or in the manner of, Riza-i-Abbasi or Behzad are ever arresting.

There is, finally, a splendid and extensive group of Mughal miniatures painted in India at the court of the Mughal Emperors from the end of the sixteenth through the beginning of the seventeenth century. The astonishing mastery of line and brush stroke revealed in these tiny yet perfect portraits has never been excelled in the west, while the richly illuminated borders, which oftentimes include subsidiary portraits as well, are particularly characteristic of the rich decorative sense so marked in all the paintings included in the present exhibition.

Cite This Article

"Special Exhibition of Oriental Miniatures." Museum Bulletin I, no. 3 (March, 1930): 18-19. Accessed July 15, 2024. https://www.penn.museum/sites/bulletin/377/

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