Riza Abbasi

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Riza Abbasi


Born circa 1575 in Kashan; died in 1635. Iranian miniaturist; leading artist of the Isfahan school during the rule of Abbas I.

Riza Abbasi painted genre scenes and portraits, including those of shepherds and peasants. A small part of his work consisted of illustrations for manuscript books. His art evolved from the painting traditions of Mohammad, one of the outstanding Tabriz miniaturists. Its evolution was marked by the transition from poetically serene compositions, in which figures are outlined with an even, flowing line that isolates the figures from their surroundings, to compositions filled with profound inner tension. In the latter works the changing, broken line, whose sharpness is emphasized by subtle tonal variations, brings out the plastic qualities of the figures and their relationship with the surrounding space. The artist’s works are in many of the world’s museums, including museums in Leningrad and Moscow.


Veimarn, B. V. Iskusstvo arabskikh stran i Irana VII-XVII vekov. Moscow, 1974. Pages 137–41.
Stchoukine, I. V. Les Peintures des manuscripts de Shah Abbas I-er à la fin des Safavis. Paris, 1964. Pages 85–133.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.