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Article Published In Vol.8 (Nov-Dec 2020)

Shiraz School of Manuscript Illustrations: A Synthesis of Innovation and Expansion

Pages : 902-911, DOI:

Author : Dr. Samina Zia Sheikh

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This study observes transitions and expansion in Shiraz manuscript illustrations that initially developed from tradition and inspirations from Tabriz and Baghdad Schools of manuscript illustrations. Evolution and expansion of Shiraz Manuscript illustrations appeared following a relentless process where literature and inner force of innovation in illustrations propelled the process towards ideal excellence. Initial style of Shiraz manuscript illustrations continued to be conventional but expanded by a synthesis of observation and innovation. Though, compositional structure of illustrations initially followed traditional practice but at the end of twelfth and commencement of thirteenth century compositions developed with new canons and resourcefulness brought varied styles and novel arrangements in compositions. Tradition played a significant role in process of evolution where customs and beliefs refined subject matters that were transferred from one generation of artist to another but in a more innovative way. Figures that were frequently arranged diagonally or one above the other were later set with more dynamism and validity in fifteenth century miniatures when closer associations developed among the painting styles of Shiraz, Tabriz and Baghdad. Shiraz artist consciously implemented a process of gradual evolution following standards from Baghdad and Tabriz schools of Manuscript illustrations that further lead with new concerns based on interpretation of a simple language of metaphors intermingled with visual elements of illustrations. This novel process made each illustration more and more illustrious. Exodus of artists during Timurid period brought more style in miniatures and a mature Shiraz style developed that lasted long and influenced the development of miniatures in later years.

Keywords: Shiraz paintings, Innovation, Metaphors, literature, Tradition, Dynamism.



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