Small is Beautiful
Perseverance, extraordinary patience, a steady hand, keen eyesight and boundless imagination – just some of the many attributes required to master the art of miniature painting.
While travelling in Uzbekistan, you can visit the school of famous miniaturist Davlat Toshev in Bukhara city, and even have a class on miniature painting. Davlat Toshev comes from a long line of miniature painters and learnt the skill from his father. Davlat creates miniature paintings on both old and new handmade silk paper, a tradition he says is being revived in Uzbekistan. The tools of his work include a magnifying glass, a variety of brushes and pencils, and both gold and silver leaf. He also uses tempera and natural colours.
The tradition of miniature painting in Central Asia dates back to the reign of Tamerlane (1370-1405) when artists illustrated documents, manuscripts, interior items and poetry books. Miniature painting is represented by various types: miniature on paper, leather, wood, fabric, canvas, papier-mâché.
The subjects of the paintings were taken from folk art and literary works. Miniatures could depict historical chronicles, scenes of hunting and battles, details of meetings and meals.
In 2020, the art of miniature was included in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO.