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Dating back to the 16th century, the muraqqa is an album of miniature illustrations and calligraphy, usually taken from several sources. The form helped make miniature figuration the preponderant form across a broad swath of the Muslim world, from Mughal India, to Safavid Persia, to the Ottoman Empire. As time passed, individual readers began to view each miniature of the muraqqa as a freestanding work rather than part of an ensemble of images.Displaying more than 120 small-sized artworks by nine Iranian artists, this show highlights the shift from traditional Persia to modern Iran.Other artists gave new life to miniaturized versions of well-known master works.Saba Souleymani has given a contemporary reading to James McNeill Whistler's famous "Whistler's Mother," transforming it completely. Surrounding the miniature work is a text in Persian letters, no doubt explaining the character's situation in the illustration. In some of the works in "Persian Minis" viewers find miniatures being used to illustrate a text.
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