The Poetic Painting of the Islamic World

Turkoman 1565

The Simargh with the dragons, Turkey 15th c.

The art of Islamic painting has often been neglected as well as misunderstood in the Western world. For religious reasons, figurative painting was rare and it most often appeared in the form of book illustration. Most works were not signed as the Islamic world is less individualistic in its philosophy and practice than the west. Poetry is an essestial part of Islamic painting insofar as the painter paints the world of his dreams as opposed to strict reality.

Prince Iskandar Anthology
Bahran Gour in the seven portraits room
Shiraz, 1410
Gulbekian Foundation

Superb poetic painting from the "Seven Poets Anthology" of 1398: a magical mountain in an everlasting spring. Is this perhaps a reference to the ancient religious tale in which Zoroaster speaks to the world from the top of the mountain? This painting is reminiscent of Pierre Bonnard.

Mohammad Qassem, Ispahan

Mohammad Qassem, 17th c.
Ispahan, 1627
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