Central Asian miniature painting
The Central Asian miniature style is largely linked with the ancient pre-Islamic traditions of local monumental painting, discovered by archeologists in the temples, palaces, and dwellings of Samarkand, Varakhsha, Penji-kent and Kalai-Kakhkakha. It embodies the infinite world of mythological, epic, fabulous-didactic, fairytale-folklore creative work of the peoples of Central Asia. Its range of subjects is superb Ч battles and feasts, receptions and interviews, nardy (a game similar to backgammon) and playing all kinds of musical instruments, fortress sieges and gallant adventures...


ENVOYS. Fragment Mural painting. West wall.
ENVOYS. Fragment Mural painting. West wall. Afrasiab. 6th Ч 7th century


Although there is no recurrence to one and the same subject, despite a certain difference in the manner of painting the murals can be identified by the unity of style. The painting lacks in illusory three-dimentional quality. The style is notable for two-dimentional quality, achieved by applying 'all the then known artistic devices: placing the figures in the picture in parallel rows, without reducing the perspective or using a muted palette. The paintings are distinguished for their solid and local colours with a clear marked background. The subject of the painting determines the composition: it is either serenely balanced or dynamically tense. There appears a number of traditional schemes, with minor points of difference, applied in this or that composition depending on the subject of the painting.

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