The “Herat school” of art was a 15th-century style of miniature painting that developed in the city of Herat in western Afghanistan. This art form was founded by Shah Rokh, the son of Islamic conqueror Tamerlane. In time, Herat became an important center for painting with artists coming to the court from all across Persia and Afghanistan.
Many paintings were done on silk, and illustrations for poems were very common. You will find many scenes inspired by the Persian “Book of Kings” by the poet Ferdowsi.
The Herat style drew on many earlier traditions, including the Tabriz and Shiraz schools of painting. These were mentioned in a previous “Art Quiz” question with links to information on Persian miniature paintings.
One of the most important influences was that of perspective, introduced by the Mongols during the 14th century. According to Encyclopedia Britannica…
In the miniatures of the Herat school, numerous figures, in groups or singly, are shown on various planes, one above the other, using the entire picture area. The juxtaposition of figures and elements of scenery one above the other produced the effect of one appearing to be behind the other.
Figures are often stylized, appearing tall and thin with oblong-shaped heads and pointed beards. They are painted in many different positions and are almost always described taking action. Artists developed strong compositions and included many details. The colors used were bold but not harsh, with a large number of blues and greens.