A Timurid Carpet Page: Islamic Illumination Course - Zoom Online.
A Timurid Carpet Page: Islamic Illumination Course – Short Zoom Course.

A Timurid Carpet Page: Islamic Illumination Course - Zoom Online.

When: Sat 31 Jul 2021 16:00 - Sat 18 Sep 2021 18:00
Where: Online - Zoom

A Timurid Carpet Page

Islamic Illumination Course


by Anahita Alavi



Date: Saturdays, 31 July - 18 Sep 2021

Time: 16:00- 18:00

(UK Time)


Type of Event: Zoom Online Course

Course Fee: £210 for SOAS Students 

£250 for non-SOASians





Carpet pages traditionally comprise the most sophisticated and elaborated decorations in illuminated manuscripts where the illuminators demonstrate their remarkable skills and artistry.


This practice-based course focuses on a carpet page from one of the most significant masterpieces of the 15th century, i.e. “Baysunqur Shahnama”, aiming to instruct how simply to analyse, draw and paint this beautiful piece of work in Timurid style. The participants will practice various stages of making an illumination work; from drawing the given pattern and preparing the paper to a finalised work. The course will engage students in a number of lessons at the same time:


  1. How to structure and compartmentalise a carpet page in general

  2. How to construct the layout of given carpet page

  3. Where to add your own creative touches

  4. Drawing the respective individual motifs including:
    - Khataei motifs (flowers and leaves)
    - Islimi motifs (the motifs observable inside the small frames)

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

  6. Tracing the patterns on the papers prepared by themselves

  7. Gilding, mixing and applying colours

  8. Delicate outlining and shading the Khataei motifs

  9. How to elaborate the narrow decorative borders, add the needle-like motifs and finish the work.



While working on this masterpiece, you will be familiar with the principals of compositions, learning the ways in which the two main motifs (Khataei and Islimi) combine with each other. The focus is on a quarter of this composition, however, while completing ¼ of this carpet page, participants will achieve the required skills and knowledge to complete and paint the entire page by themselves. The course will be running in 8 weeks, and each session will last 120 minutes. The sessions will be held in group format; however, students would be able to send their practices to our tutor and receive instructions and corrections individually.


No background in arts is necessary, so beginners are also welcome.


Please note that the course will be recorded and you will receive the access links within a few hours after the live session. If you wish to rely on the recordings, you will get the full support from our tutor during throughout the course.


You will receive the list of required and optional materials once the registration is completed.



The registration deadline is 28 July 2021. For registration and more information about the course please email us on iranianartssociety@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: 09 Oct 2020 12:40