This seminar explores the theory and practice of the extraordinary mode of painting associated with the Iranian world. With its scrupulous attention to detail, its exuberance of color and surface patterning, and its deliberate disregard for the "rules" of naturalism and scientific perspective, Persian painting developed an entirely new and distinctive pictorial regime between the 14th and 17th centuries. Seventeenth-century European travelers and missionaries viewed it as "childlike" and "primitive" while 19th-century Parisians admired and collected Persian illustrated manuscripts for the sheer beauty of their jewel-like surface quality. Students in this seminar will explore this Orientalist perspective in the context of the astonishing visualities of Persian painting. We will closely analyze manuscript paintings along with critical readings of such primary documents of "art historical" nature as biographies of artists, poetic and ekphrastic considerations of the art of painting, artists' prefaces to albums of paintings and calligraphic samples, epigraphic and signatory marks of the artists, and their contemporary chronicles. Specialist knowledge of Persian language and culture is not a prerequisite. Estimate cost of materials: $50.00 or more, but less than $100. I. 2, 3

Instructor: Sussan Babaie

  • Monday
  • 1:00pm - 4:00pm
  • 210 Tappan Hall
  • Credits: 3
  • Seminar