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Love and Devotion: From Persia and Beyond

Love and Devotion: From Persia and Beyond

Persian miniature painting & visual literacy

Investigate Persian manuscript miniature paintings as a form of visual literacy using the exercise, discussion questions and resources below.

This activity is linked to the Persian manuscripts & culture inquiry unit and targeted at VELS Level 4–6 students. Refer to the curriculum outcomes to see how this unit aligns with VELS.


  • Share a story from Love and devotion with your students, without showing them the accompanying manuscript images.
  • Ask students to illustrate a scene from the story in their chosen media.
  • Discuss students' work. Consider the concept of visual literacy and how elements of art like line, colour and shape give meaning to a story.
  • Show students the original manuscript painting for the story. Discuss how the elements of art are used to convey character, plot, setting and mood.
  • Compare students' work with the original image in terms of how art elements add detail to a story.

Discussion questions

  • What is visual literacy?
  • How do the art elements in a picture add meaning to a story's characterisation, plot, setting and mood?
  • How does the choice of media and technique influence an artwork's message and mood?


  • Art-making materials eg pastels, paint, charcoal, pencils, paper
  • Story summaries – read summaries of the stories in Love and devotion
  • Useful websites – learn about visual literacy and the elements of art
  • Stories & poems – read the stories featured in Love and devotion and see their accompanying manuscript images

Love & devotion in the UK

The Bodleian Libraries is showing its own presentation of the Love and devotion exhibition at the Exhibition Room, Bodleian Library, in Oxford, England, between 29 November 2012 and 28 April 2013.

Learn more about how you can visit this exhibition on the Bodleian Libraries website.


Love and devotion: Persian Cultural Crossroads

This two-day conference held in April 2012 featured distinguished international guests and Australian specialists exploring cultural convergences in literature, the arts and architecture, history and philosophy within Persia's cultural sphere and Europe, from the 11th century to the present day.

For information on keynote speakers & topics discussed, visit our conference page

Visit the exhibition

The Love and devotion exhibition took place from 9 March to 1 July 2012. In-depth information about the exhibits and themes can be found on this website.

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Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Tel +61 3 8664 7000