During the 16th and 17th centuries there was a great flowering of Persian culture and creativity. The Silk Route had been established and there was much trade with the West. Persian blue and white ceramics were influencing the Delft ware in Holland, and carpets and textiles were being sent to Europe, as were wool and silks. Moroccan bookbinders were influenced by Persian designs, and court artists travelled to India to paint in the Mughal School. Persian art is not symbolic and meaningful like Indian art, nor does it aspire to realism like Western art. Also, it is not limited to geometrical designs as in Islamic art. Artists were accustomed to pleasing their patrons rather than promoting their own art, so you will find a wonderful mix of subjects and styles in this book.
About the designs
I have always been fascinated by Persian illuminated manuscripts, so beautifully designed and written, and by the carpets, textiles and ceramics that have been created over the centuries. The illustrations that accompany fables and fairy stories are just as captivating, exquisite in their representation of a make-believe world. Human figures have the same proportions and functions as trees, flowers, buildings and animals, all woven together in intricate designs and patterns. Having trained as a theatre designer I especially love the clothing detail: the layers of patterned fabric and the fastenings, and the intricate headdresses which are often embellished with peacock feathers. If you look at Persian illustrations you will see sumptuously dressed young men and women, reading, courting, eating, drinking and posing against fantastic backgrounds of patterned carpets, tiled walls or flower-covered fields - all in wonderful subtle sophisticated colours.
I have so enjoyed researching the designs for this book and I sincerely hope that you will be inspired by the illustrations. Why not choose a motif and embroider a cushion, paint a pattern on a bowl, or make your own greetings cards. Weave some of the designs together, or use them to create your own ideas. Above all, have fun!
1st edition 2004, Pb, 32pp giving you 68 copyright free line drawings to have fun with for non commercial activities, 21.6 x 29.3 cm