Art And Culture

Attar’s Work Illustrated in Mixed Media

The collection is inspired by Persian miniatures and has the same style as seen in the paintings
Ehtesabian’s illustrations for ‘Mantiq-o-Tair’Ehtesabian’s illustrations for ‘Mantiq-o-Tair’

Prolific Iranian illustrator Negin Ehtesabian, 38, has made a series of enchanting images for part of ‘Mantiq-o-Tair’ (Conference of Birds), a long and celebrated Sufi poem written by Persian poet and hagiographer Attar of Nishapur (1145-1221).

The publishing house Verita Kitap, based in Istanbul, Turkey will release an illustrated adaptation of Mantiq-o-Tair for adults, in cooperation with illustrator Ehtesabian and Turkish translator Zehra T. Ozbursali who has translated and adapted some of its most famous stories into Turkish language.

The stories selected for this exotic piece of literary work are ‘Journey of Birds’ and ‘Sheikh San’an’ among others, Roozrang magazine of visual arts ( reported.

Ehtesabian created the illustrations in 2014-2015. She has used the technique of mixed media to illustrate the book, meaning she combined collage, pencil drawings, watercolor, gouache and other materials and methods in her works. She has also used magazine scraps and a mix of disposed materials.

“The collection is inspired by Persian miniatures. It has the same style of decoration seen in the miniatures. The works have also the same naïve narrative; but there are secondary concepts and meanings expressed in the deeper layers of the illustrations,” she said.

“I tried to preserve Iranian identity and originality of the text in the created images, but at the same time, I wanted to avoid the drabness of the old schools of illustration.”

Mantiq-o-Tair has a magical atmosphere that lets one interpret its stories in a free and personal way. “And since the book is designed for adults, I could use symbols to a great extent,” Ehtesabian added.

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