Smithsonian Freer Gallery Sackler Gallery National Museum of Asian Art Gallery Guide to the Visual Poetry
Introductionpage 1page 2page 3Persian Poetry and Paintingpage 1page 2rizaingpage 1page 2Persian Poetry and Paintingpage 1page 2
With the growing popularity of album-page compositions in seventeenth-century Iran, artists began to expand their repertoire of subject matter and experiment with new formats and pictorial styles. European art was one of the main sources of inspiration. Introduced by diplomats, merchants, and missionaries, all of whom began to frequent Iran at this time, Western paintings and luxury goods exposed Safavid artists to new pictorial notions, such as naturalism, perspective, and the play of light and shade. These new conventions are perhaps best expressed in the Safavid interest in more naturalistic figural representation.
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Bearded Man Leans on a Staff
Bearded Man Leans on a Staff
Iran, Isfahan, ca. 1630–40
Ink and color wash on paper
33.7 x 22.8 cm (13 1/4 x 9 in.)
Purchase—Smithsonian Unrestricted Trust Funds, Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program, and Dr. Arthur M. Sackler, S1986.312

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