A Persian Miniature is a small handmade oil painting on paper, whether a book illustration or more importantly on piece of camel bone. The techniques are broadly comparable to the Western and Byzantine traditions of miniatures in illuminated manuscripts. The bright and pure coloring of the Persian miniature is one of its most striking features.
The workshop tradition and division of labor within both an individual miniature and a book, as described above, complicates the attribution of paintings. Some are inscribed with the name of the artist, sometimes as part of the picture itself, for example as if painted on tiles in a building, but more often as a note added on the page or elsewhere; where and when being often uncertain. Because of the nature of the works, literary and historical references to artists, even if they are relied upon, usually do not enable specific paintings to be identified, though there are exceptions.