A Letter From The Publisher, Sep. 12, 1960

IN their restrained splendor, ancient Persian miniatures still suggest an ingredient of present-day Iran, a harsh and occasionally beautiful land where each oasis, even a blade of grass, can seem a small miracle, and where the diminutive art form continues to flourish. With economy of line and careful balance of color, the best of the miniatures capture an unexpected spaciousness and a certain timeless rhythm.

As the setting for his portrait of the Shah of Iran, TIME Cover Artist Bernard Safran copied a delicately elegant miniature by an unknown artist of the Safavid Dynasty period (1501-1734). Like most miniatures, this one was...

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