The work aims at bringing the Persian texts into the study of the arts and technology of the Indo-lranian world – an approach much neglected so far. Drawing upon Persian sources (both from Iran and India), viz., technical treatises, historical chronicles and poetical texts, the work deals with painting and the art of book making during twelfth to nineteenth century.
The introduction presents the geographical and chronological dimensions of the study. After a brief history of Persian painting before the twelfth century, the book discusses mural painting, manuscripts, origin of paper and its fabrication, the composition of the page, colours/pigments used in the paintings, painting subjects, bookbinding, etc. The painter, man and artist, his origin, his training, his status, aesthetics and taste, his workshop and its organisation and distribution of tasks therein, modular construction of the manuscripts, library, the caligraphy surrounding the painting, its illuminations and binding are all analysed. In fact the book reconstructs the entire process of making an illustrated manuscript from its ground work to its binding. Persian text and illustrations enhance the utility of the work.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction; PART ONE: Techniques of Painting and Arts of the Book 2. The ground 3. Decorated papers 4. Layout and composition 5. Painting 5. Subjects of the paintings 7. Binding and special operations 8. Mural painting and ceramics: A parallel; PART TWO: The Painter, the Workshop, the Library 9. Introduction: The painter and literature 10. The artist 11. The workshop, its operation and division of work 12. The library 13. Conclusion
Annexe 1: Pigments used in pre-Islamic sites
Annexe 2: Persian texts
Yves Porter, a specialist on arts and techniques in the Iranian world and Islamized India was born in Barcelona in 1957. After studying Oriental Languages (Persian, Turkish, Arabic, Pashtu, Hindi) at INALCO, Paris, he obtained his Ph D at Sorbonne Nouvelle University, Paris in 1988 in Iranian Studies. In 2000, he passed his ‘Habilitation à diriger des Recherches’ (HdR, Paris IV University).
Since 1993, he teaches Islamic Art at Aix Marseille Université, Aix-en-Provence (AMU, Department of Art History). He is attached to the Laboratoire d'Archéologie Méditerranéenne Médiévale et Moderne (LA3M), CNRS/AMU. Since October 2018, he is also part of the Institut Universitaire de France, with a project on ‘Kashan Luster Ware’.