Central Asian miniature painting
The romantic trend seems to have stepped into a new path in the second half of the seventeenth century. Its newly acquired features can be clearly observed in the copy Yussuf and Zulaikha by Durbek, 1615 (IOS AS UzSSR N 1433). The exquisite nature of the romantic touch is open to the eye in the copy Zafar-nama, rewritten in Samarkand in 1628 (IOS AS UzSSR, 4472), whose miniatures excel in overwhelming anxiety. In the second half of the seventeenth century it is one of the illustrators of Shah-nama, 1664, that typifies this trend (IOS AS UzSSR, N3463). His miniatures although sparse of figures, bring out active personages in dramatic situations, arranged against an extremely beautiful landscape, which spreads out all the margin space over.
The most typical classic style miniaturist among the Bukhara Ashtarkhanid masters at the end of the seventeenth century was Muhammad-Mukim. Most of his miniatures are composed as replicas of certain traditional patterns, known as early as the fifteenth-sixteenth centuries. However, a copyist he was not, for his every work bares an imprint of highly individual nature. As compared to the Bekhzad miniaturists his images arc more earth-bound, his figures husky, his colours local and heavy. The painter's emotional assessment of happenings finds vent in the pose of his figures, his gests, and even in the facial expression.
The manner of the illustrators of Nizami's Khamse is somewhat like that of Muhammad-Mukim (SPL, PNS-66), however, these illustrations can hardly be attributed to the latter. The drawing is more refined and elaborate, the figures more slender and elegant, the gamut of colours much richer than those known to be his.
The classic trend was known of at the end of the seventeenth century. Part of the miniatures of the Madjlis al-Ushshak copy belongs to the hand of an excellent draughtsman (he had no time to colour them); he was a master of line, his figures were naturally posed, their faces represented with great authenticity.
Some miniaturists of the seventeenth century are known to have followed the Indian manner, specifically, that of the Delhi masters. Thus, in Khatifi's Timur-nama (British Museum, Add. 22703), copied in 1560, but illustrated at the turn of the sixteenth century, whatever has to do with Indian life is done with entire profoundness, exhibiting exquisite knowledge of the subject, yet the manner of representation is reminiscent of the Samarkand illustrations, of the Zafar-nama copy, 1628. In the illustrations made by Avaz Muhammad and Mullo-Bekhzad to Hamsa (16681671), the volume modelling of figures, the arrangement of landscape scenes, added to that, a number of minor details bear the mark of Indian art, although in essence the miniatures preserve Central Asian traditions. Central Asia, in its turn, played no small role in the evolvement of the Mogul miniature.

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