From the third century on, Persian Miniature has flourished in Iran and its neighboring countries. And even though the original miniature style has undergone dramatic changes, the name and the style of this particular art are recognizable by art historians, museum curators, and connoisseurs.
The first Persian Miniaturist was Mani, the third century Prophet in Persia. Mani's religion combined Christianity and Zoroastrianism and used his paintings to communicate with people through his book. As a result, he became a book illustrator. His artwork had to be small enough as to fit in his books, therefore he had to produce miniature work. This is where the name for this particular style of painting came from, even though the work is no longer in miniature size.
However, neither Mani's religion nor his holy book was popular among the ruling class, and as a result he was put to death by the Sasaanid Dynasty.Yet Mani's followers took his holy book, Arjang, and fled to Central Asia spreading the appreciation for his beautiful, colorful manuscripts. Soon kings and other men of power started collecting Mani's work of art as a form of treasure. And thus, Persian Miniature gradually became well known and appealing to people the world over.
Since Persians are sophisticated, poetic, romantic, and nationalistic people, all these characteristics are visible in their art especially in Persian Miniature paintings. It is no wonder that this art decorates many museums around the world.