The history of Iranian painting backs to Cavemen due to discovered potteries in Lorestan Province showing images of animal and hunting scenes, which prove their skills in painting. Reminded paints from Achaemenid era simply reveal this fact that the painters of those times preferred profiles and shadeless color.
History of Iranian Painting
To be said that the base style of Iranian miniature painting had formed in Parthian era due discovered mural paint of hunting scenes in Euphrates River displays riders and animal positions.
After Islamic era and before the birth of miniature, painting changed its form to simple floral forms in architecture due to shaping in Islam deemed to be taboo.
To be said that the birth of first miniature backs to Baghdad School in which paints had lost their style and methods of pre-Islamic era. The proportional principle had not been observed in those paints.
Miniature painting continued its way via considerable effort of Haret School under Mongol & Timurid in which heavily influenced by Chinese painting due to be brought numerous Chinese artisans to the Iranian court under Mongol rules.
To be known that Kamal-od-din Behzad, the leader of Herat Scahool as an extended the delicate art of architecture due to invention of new patterns for natural facts and portraits.
Mainly, to be said that themes of Persian miniature are heavily dependent on Mythology & poetry.
During the Safavid era, the art center moved to Tabriz and Qazvin, however, the Safavid School established in Isfahan by Reza Abassi in which miniature totally got rid of influence of Chinese art and images became softer in form while human profiles & their behaviors were not vain and artificial, either. Themes of those painting were about life in royal court, the nobles, gorgeous places, pleasant goodness, and scenes of battle and banquets. Moreover, artists paid attention to more details and tried to avoid unnecessary details.
By end of Safavid era, prospective and shading appeared in Persian painting due to acquaintance with style of European painting. Kamal-Ol-Molk, the greatest painters in Qajar period, established a new style which to be merged European classic style to Iranian miniature paintings.
Meanwhile, Naqashi-Qahveh-Khane-ee (Coffee House Painting) as a new traditionalist-religious style appeared by Qul-lar AGHASI whose customers were ordinary people against the former styles. Usual subjects of his painting were about holy profile of prophets, the religious epics, and the battles of national heroes. In Coffee Houses, narrators used these paint boards to tell religious and epic stories from ancient Persia.
As time went on, modern European Painting found its way into Iranian painting style due to acquaintance with European artistic works.