SOAS University of London

London Middle East Institute

Persian Miniature Course: From preparation to practice

Persian Minature Course Image
Anahita Alavi

Date: 23 April 2019Time: 6:30 PM

Finishes: 2 July 2019Time: 8:30 PM

Venue: MBI Al Jaber Building, 21 Russell Square Room: MBI Al Jaber Seminar Room

Type of Event: Workshop

The course is designed to take participants on a pleasant journey to the mysterious world of Persian miniatures, teaching them about materials, colours, paper preparation and Persian miniature styles.

During the course, students will be guided towards various stages of making Persian miniature and experience the whole process practically. They will learn:

  • How to prepare the paper
  • What the fundamental elements of landscape-making are and how to draw nature as depicted in Persian miniatures
  • How to transfer a sketch onto the prepared paper
  • Colouring and shading techniques
  • How to outline and elaborate painting and add delicate details with a fine brush

The course starts with a short historical introduction to Persian miniatures and the stylistic features of different Persian miniatures’ schools. Our practical lessons begin with one of the basic, yet essential, elements of Persian miniature: nature. The course aims to familiarise participants with the conventional methods used to illustrate nature in a number of historical schools of Persian painting: the Īlkhānīd, Timūrīd and Safavīd ones. During each session, students’ works will be looked at by the instructor on an individual basis and necessary instructions will be given. While practising, students will be advised about some theoretical-aesthetic concepts in Persian-Islamic visual art.

No background in arts is necessary; beginners are welcome to start and move forward step by step whereas students who already have a background knowledge and/or experience will be taught according to their level.

Students will be provided with a pallet of required handmade pigments and two brushes (the pigments and brushes are not included in the course fee). Students need to bring the rest of materials including paper and tracing paper.

The course will run every Tuesday 6:30-8:30pm at the London Middle East Institute from 23 April to 2 July 2019.

Anahita Alavi is an Iranian artist who has learned Persian miniature painting, Islamic illumination and geometric design under the supervision of the great masters in Iran. Her keen interest in the aforementioned areas sparked when she was sixteen, and led to choosing traditional Persian painting as her BA major. She used to teach Persian painting and Islamic illumination at the Payame‐Noor University of Tehran and a number of schools and institutes in Iran. Aiming to enhance her theoretical‐historical knowledge about Iranian culture and arts, Anahita has done an MA in Art studies at the University of Tehran and another MA in History of Art and Architecture of Islamic Middle East at SOAS University of London. Since 2016, she has been engaged with teaching and producing Persian miniature and illumination in London as an entrepreneur sponsored by SOAS.

Fees: £250 (10% discount for early-bird registration is offered until Tuesday 2 April 2019: £225). There will be a small additional charge of around £25 for materials and tools. To register please visit the SOAS Online Store.

Organiser: London Middle East Institute

Contact email:

Contact Tel: 020 7898 4330