Persian miniature painting are known as manuscript illumination, this art flourished in Islamic Iran from the 14th to the 17th centuries. It is an art of brilliant colours, masterful brushwork, graceful calligraphy, all created and nourished by the patronage of Islamic princes and rulers. Persian miniatures are found in books (manuscripts) produced for the elite of Iran. Only the very rich and powerful could afford to commission a manuscript with miniature paintings. The best painters and calligraphers were celebrities, highly sought after and lavishly supported. Materials were incredibly expensive, and included gold and silver leaf. Most importantly, the labour involved was tremendous: it was common for an artist to work for up to a year on a single painting. Only the wealthy could support an atelier (artists' workshop) to produce illustrated manuscripts.
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