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Predation in an Arid Landscape

A miniature painting from an early 15th century manuscript depicting the landscape of the Middle East where the arid zone habitat was conserved for hunting by the Persian aristocracy. An old lion springs on an ass which has been lured there by a jackal. It is the natural setting which is the most vivid part of the picture here enlivened by three bamboo shoots on the right. This naturalism owes much to the tradition of flower painting in China, which had been introduced to Persia by the Mongols in the 14th century and was now fully absorbed into the native Persian romantic world of poetic feeling. Within this new evaluation of nature the miniaturists were able to express a child-like vision of the natural world.

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