After firmly establishing itself in Central Asia, in the ninth-tenth centuries, Islam has limited the application of painters' skills to ornamental art. From then on the subject painting serving to decorate the interior was replaced by geometrical, stylized plan element and epigraphic designs. And yet centuries later many a style characteristics, many a pictorial, sketch and composition method of early medieval Central Asian painting were taken over by the book miniature. The pictorial motifs of samples of applied arts in the ninth-fourteenth centuries can partly be looked upon as a bridge between this painting and the miniature of the fifteenth-seventeenth centuries.
The reign of Timur and the Timurids is marked by new tendencies (the last quarter of the fourteenth century). The ornamental motifs of wall-painting have been enriched by landscape and subject painting. According to their contemporaries Timur's Samarkand palaces were decorated with numerous paintings of the ruler himself, group portraits, battle scenes, scenes of hunting and feasts. The walls of the Samarkand Ulugh Bek observatory bear traces of the pictorial art of the past, which most likely represents the celestial spheres, signs of the zodiac, planets and constellations by means of the symbolic pictorial forms borrowed from the miniatures of Oriental astronomic treatises. However, at the beginning of the sixteenth century representational painting was prohibited once again, even in palaces. Its only domain was book miniatures.