Persian Miniature (Architectural Elements)
Following our very successful online courses during the summer and many requests we have received for a new course, the Iranian Arts Society is pleased to organise a new online course on Persian Miniature (Architectural Elements) by Anahita Alavi.

Persian Miniature (Architectural Elements)

When: Sat 10 Oct 2020 16:00 - Sat 28 Nov 2020 18:00
Where: ZOOM online

A short online course in

Persian Miniature Painting

(Architectural Elements)

by Anahita Alavi


Date: Saturday, 10 October - 28 Nov 2020

Time: 16:00- 18:00 (in the UK time)

The course will be held on 8 consecutive Saturdays

Type of Event: Zoom Online Course

Course Fee: £210 for SOAS Students

£250 for non-SOASians



Join us to travel across Persian palaces, fortresses and mosques through Persian miniature. Buildings and interior spaces have long been key elements of Persian miniature painting. The presence of these elements in paintings are to celebrate the art of decoration in the given culture: an art mirrored in another art! The course focuses on drawing architecture in Persian miniature paintings and various intricate ornamentations on facade and interior spaces. This is to understand the structure and functionality of buildings in this style of painting.

In this course you will learn:

  • How to construct buildings in Persian miniature
  • How to create the decorative frames
  • How to draw the geometric and biomorphic patterns in context
  • What is the traditional colour palette used in Persian miniature
  • How to prepare the paper for painting
  • What are the colouring techniques applied in various ornamented frames
  • How to outline and render the fine details


The course will start with an introduction to Persian miniature. It goes through the historical development of the representation of architecture, spaces and ornamentations (i.e. Islamic Illumination and Geometric patterns). We look at the structure of a few paintings to explore the underlying layout and understand how the space is treated in Persian miniatures.

Following a line of gradual development, students will be guided to different stages of drawing architectural elements in Persian miniature. The participant’s works will be checked one by one and necessary instructions will be given. We will also cover the techniques of drawing, tracing, colouring and rendering the details in Persian miniature painting.

Participants in all levels of experience are welcome to join. Students will be given proper instruction based on their experience and knowledge. They will receive the list of the required materials a week prior to the first session.


The registration deadline is 3 October 2020, and given the limitations of an online course, we have a limited number of places available (first one, first-served). For registration and more information about the course please email us on


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