Zoom Online Islamic Illumination Course- Khataei Patterns
Zoom Online/ Islamic Illumination Short Course- Khataei Patterns

Zoom Online Islamic Illumination Course- Khataei Patterns

When: Sat 15 Aug 2020 11:00 - Sat 03 Oct 2020 13:00
Where: Zoom Online

Following our very successful Zoom online course in Persian Miniature, and many requests that we have received regarding the new course, Iranian Arts Society has decided to organise a new course on Islamic Illumination. 

Islamic Illumination Course

“Khataei Patterns”

by Anahita Alavi


Date: Saturdays, 15 Aug to 3 Oct 2020 (8 sessions)

Time: 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM (in London Time)

Type of Event: Zoom Online Course

Course Fee: £210 for SOAS Students 

£250 for non-SOASians


“Islamic-Iranian illumination” course is designed to immerse participants in magical patterns and colors of old illustrated manuscripts. Inherited by various visual cultures in the Islamic realm, the tradition of Islamic Illumination has over centuries yielded diverse styles each of which fed by a different aesthetic taste. Iranian style of Islamic illumination is an eye-catching case in point.

Among diverse types of illumination, this practice-based course focuses on one of the most significant and common forms of Islamic Illumination, Khataei (flowers and leaves) and aims to familiarise pupils with various steps of making an illumination work; from making the materials towards a finished work. In addition to a brief historical-theoretical introduction of the Iranian tradition of Islamic illumination, the course comprises a number of lessons that students may engage in at the same time:

1. Drawing individual motifs 

2. Preparing the paper; dying, sizing and burnishing procedures

3. Creating a composition

4. Tracing the patterns on the prepared papers

5. Applying the colors and Gilding

6. Delicate outlining and Shading


Following a line of gradual development, students will be guided to complete and paint a simple Khataei motif at each session so that, by the end of the term, participants will have a portfolio of a series of Khataei motifs as well as a piece of painted-finished Illumination. The course will be running in 8 weeks, and each session will last 120 minutes. The classes will be held in a group format; however, the instructor will supervise individuals one by one while they are practicing.


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 are able to send their practices to our tutor and receive the instructions and corrections. 


The registration deadline is 10 Aug 2020. For registration and more information about the course please email us on saeidkordmafi@gmail.com.


Anahita Alavi has an MA in History of Art and Architecture of Islamic Middle East from SOAS University of London. An Iranian artist, she has learned Persian miniature painting and Islamic illumination under the supervision of a number of great masters in Iran. Her keen interest in the aforementioned areas led her to choose traditional art as her BA major. Aiming to enhance her theoretical-historical knowledge about Iranian culture and arts, Anahita also did an MA in Art Studies at the University of Tehran. She used to teach Persian painting and Islamic illumination at the Payame-Nur University of Tehran and a number of schools and institutes in Iran. In 2016, she started an entrepreneur project called Muqarnas Art sponsored by SOAS.

The project is concerned with teaching and producing Persian miniature and illumination. This aims to preserve the tradition of Miniature painting and Islamic illumination and transmit the respective knowledge and skills to enthusiastic students. To this end, Anahita has been teaching Persian miniature painting and Islamic Illumination courses at the SOAS London Middle East Institute and British Institute for Persian Studies.



This webpage was last updated on: 02 Sep 2014 12:54